Dhoni refuses to blame IPL for India's debacle

Dhoni refuses to blame IPL for India's debacle

As such, there was a gap of only five days between the IPL final and their first match here against Afghanistan.

“Most of the players were fit and fresh,” said skipper MS Dhoni when asked if the IPL had anything to do with India’s poor performance. “As far as the IPL is concerned, it’s an open window at that time when we play franchisee cricket. I don’t think that was one of the reasons why we didn’t do well. I missed only three games when I was injured. But I feel fresh and I don’t have any impact because of the IPL.”

While it might be a bit of an exaggeration to put the entire blame on the IPL, Dhoni felt one can’t run away from the fact that the T20 league was not just about cricket. According to the stumper, the IPL is an intense tournament and unless players take care of themselves, it could take its toll.

Dhoni was particularly concerned with late night parties. “The players need to be smart because in IPL, there are other things going around,” he pointed out. “You have to travel a lot, so you have to respect your body and take care of it. If you don’t do that, then IPL is quite draining. If you are playing late night matches and attend parties, come back late in the night and travel the next day, then it takes a toll on your body.

“It’s up to individuals to take care of their respective bodies. If you do that, I don’t think 45 days of cricket will affect you. We play 200 days of cricket or even more, so it’s just part of that period whether you play T20 or one-dayers or Test matches,” he elaborated.

Dhoni also defended India’s policy of optional practice sessions. “We wanted guys to be fresh. A day’s practice will not make much of a difference. If you are playing cricket throughout the year and if you see our practice sessions, one more will not make much difference. It was more important to take some time off from cricket because that also helps at times,” he explained.

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