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August 22, 2014
Stephen Fleming, the former New Zealand captain, has said that keeping specialist Test players away from the IPL might help India's long-format prospects.
"The IPL is two months of the year and the only challenge is that it is probably eating into the spare time of the players around the world, especially Indian players," Fleming said, during a promotional event in Mumbai. "The thought about creating specialist Test players is an excellent one. A lot of countries are doing it, earmarking some players for one form, and that is something India might need to consider."
To do this, however, Fleming said the players would need to be compensated for the monetary losses they could incur by not taking part in the IPL.
"And keeping in mind though that the IPL is such a good competition to play, and to keep a player out of it there might have to be remuneration of another form because all players want to gravitate towards it and play it so there will have to be a pretty strong directive to keep them away," Fleming said. "Then again becoming the Test player could be enough but it is something they need to consider. [Cheteshwar] Pujara is that type of player, even [Murali] Vijay, they are very talented players in the short form but keeping them out of it would enhance their Test game probably."
Fleming, who is head coach of Chennai Super Kings, has worked closely with MS Dhoni, but said it was hard for him to judge Dhoni as a Test captain, particularly since he didn't watch the Test series ball-by-ball. But considering India's results in the series, he felt the questions being asked of Dhoni's future as captain were warranted.
"It is hard because I only deal with him in T20 matches and you don't have any time to drift there," Fleming said. "It is very hard for me to comment before the series falls for us in the middle of the night so you don't get to see the ball by ball for the series and without doing that I find it hard to comment on his captaincy.
"He was very good at Lord's especially with the short ball but after that they didn't get enough runs so there was run pressure. As far as his captaincy goes, I didn't see enough to give you a comment. What I will say again is within the results he has got to be under pressure naturally as the leader of side. The dramatic turn of form, speaking from advice, does warrant those questions. His form with the bat was good I understand but certainly the captain always gets looked at when the series goes wrong."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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