India news

Keeping Test specialists out of IPL a good idea - Fleming

ESPNcricinfo staff

August 22, 2014

Comments: 59 | Text size: A | A

M Vijay glances one down fine leg, England v India, 2nd Investec Test, Lord's, 3rd day, July 19, 2014
Fleming said players such as M Vijay could enhance their Test game by staying away from the IPL © Getty Images
Related Links
Players/Officials: Stephen Fleming
Series/Tournaments: India tour of England
Teams: India

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.

Posted by sridoosra on (August 25, 2014, 3:56 GMT)

Mr. Fleming. I definitely agree with's correct.but i think this is not only India.all Country's need to do like that.because of future Test cricket.

Posted by crindex on (August 24, 2014, 17:51 GMT)

Ashwin is also a test material and in fact he is a captain material too. Ashwin should stay out of IPL and put India in frint of his club - CSK. Other potential test players are Mohammed Sami, Ishant, Bhuvi and Badrinath (though his is not playing IPL this season). This in addition to Vijay and Pujara.

Posted by crindex on (August 24, 2014, 17:33 GMT)

Well said . IPL money , its glitter and its glamour is all too powerful for young Indians who are yet to reach their prime. Club cricket can wait for these batsmen when they retire from Test cricket at a later time just like Dravid, Ganguly and Sachin did. However I very much doubt BCCI would compensate these Test quality players - although its a very noble and wishful thinking.

Posted by B.Moizuddin.Gouhar on (August 23, 2014, 17:29 GMT)

Dear Mr. Fleming... are u joking or u serious... i bet 10 times that almost all of Indian Team will give up playing tests for playing IPL... anyways one can understand since u are in India and u being a one of the greats u got to say something so u did... if you urself dig deep into ur heart u know Indian metality as much as any one does... tell me will dhoni, aswin jadeja will give up IPL and will u accept that.. ? its just a good idea but will not be applied here in India.

Posted by singhanubhav on (August 23, 2014, 17:00 GMT)

@itsJustaSport : Are you serious that Sachin ,Dravid didn't win much??? And further loosing with fight is one thing and getting out in 100runs for 4 consecutive innings is capitulation. To me there is no doubt current batsman have lost all art of staying at crease & have no temperament. Surely IPL is one great factor in it. Come IPL same players will fire in all cylinders and we will start eulogizing. Till next overseas test tour.

Posted by Karnayak1 on (August 23, 2014, 15:31 GMT)

I definitely agree with FOR and AGAINST views published in this Platform.

Does anyone remember the Stars who made our Country Proud my winning Medals in Olympics, Asian Games, Common Wealth Games?

Few Suggestions:- 1. Separate Teams for Test, ODI and T20's. This will give opportunity for more younger Players to represent their Country. 2. Package Structure like IT Companies annually. This means no endorsements and modelling as a Cricket Player. No other source of revenue. 3. Compulsory rest for 3 months in a year to relax with their families (Once in 4 Months). 4. IPL and Champions League restricted to 5 games and no additional income through these games.

Only consistent players who perform to be retained in the team irrespective of their experience. Only Players who have represented the Country to be in the Sports Bodies and not Politicians.

Then lets see why our Players won't perform and make this Country Proud.

Posted by anshu.s on (August 23, 2014, 14:51 GMT)

Some of these fans scapegoating the IPL are too elitist in there outlook, for them Indian victories in ODI's and T-20's don't count because they are convinced in there minds shorter formats are inferior and poor country cousins to test cricket, i would like say all three formats of the game have different requirements,demands and skillsets.These people only highlight the negative aspects of IPL but forget that for domestic Indian players like Rajat Bhatia,Pravin Tambe and others who toil hard for years in domestic cricket and can't get into Indian team IPL provides them with a great platform to showcase there wares and garner spotlight.Indian cricket is not only about Indian national team but also about domestic ,local leagues,u-19,University,schools.

@Devsonu, India have always done poorly outside the subcontinent long before the IPL came in ,on the contrary India did well in SA(2010-11) and won a series in NZ in 2009 and what about all victories in home after 2008 ??

Posted by whirlaway on (August 23, 2014, 14:43 GMT)


Bowling -

1. Can no longer bowl to take wickets. Instead they bowl to restrict the number of runs scored. It is not possible to win Test matches unless bowlers take wickets. As simple as that!

2. Get tired as a Test progresses when they are asked to bowl 3rd, 4th, 5th spells because in T20s, they bowl a max of 4 overs a day.

Fielding -

1. Can't take any catches in close-in positions because there are hardly any slips, short-legs etc., in the IPL games and so they have little or no practice taking such catches in actual match situations.

So, the natural consequence of the IPL craze is that India now has a "complete" Test team - they can't bat, bowl, catch, field or even run!

Posted by whirlaway on (August 23, 2014, 14:41 GMT)

Here's how the IPL has negatively affected the various aspect of Test performance for India:

Batting -

1. Can't occupy the crease for long. They adopt a "hit out or get out" policy because that is what works in IPL.

2. Can't even play spinners properly any more because the IPL formula is to deal with the spin bowlers by hitting them out of the ground. That doesn't work in a Test scenario with close-in fielders and long boundaries.

3. Edging way too many shots because there would be nobody to catch them in IPL games, so why bother to middle the shots?! But what gets them runs in IPL/T20 will get them out in a Test match!

4. Can't even run between the wickets because the IPL format with its small boundaries and fielding restrictions, emphasizes 4s and 6s - which need no running.


Posted by   on (August 23, 2014, 14:25 GMT)

@ItsJustaSport: Yes, India did not have a great overseas record in Tests even before the IPL. But the point is not about that - it is about how they have started surrendering in the Tests. That has not happened in the last 40 years or so.

If the series score was 1-3, but India had fought every step of the way, I am sure its fans would not be so upset. It's not just the defeat in the series, but the *manner* in which the team lost.

And yes, IPL must have a role in the way the team is losing. 178 all out, 152 all out, 161 all out, 148 all out and 94 all out - they do look like IPL scores, don't they?!

Posted by   on (August 23, 2014, 14:10 GMT)

IPL is like the successful mega-serials on the Indian tv. Everyone with a stake in it would actually want to make it last longer - year long, if only it is possible. Besides the money, the opportunity for popularity that it provides is unmatched and so players craving to play in it is understandable. If its success continues, there may come a time when new players would even want to pay a premium to play in the league just like the premium fee charged by engineering and medical colleges in some parts of India. Yet, it is only by restricting the duration of IPL one can get the Indian players to have some break or, as the rising chorus suggests, go and play in the EPL, err... the English county cricket circuit. There is no way that Test specialists can be created otherwise because as Fleming suggests financial compensation can be arranged for 'Test-only' players but how to compensate for not appearing in the Indian Popularity League?

Posted by Batmanian on (August 23, 2014, 13:40 GMT)

People say that the Indian public has lost interest in Test cricket - if that's the case, the India Test team should tour during the IPL, as people in other countries love to watch them. Then the BCCI will see which players are willing to forsake the IPL riches. I doubt the Test absentees will dent enthusiasm for the franchises - the stars seem to be rather interchangeable and the fans easily pleased.

Posted by ItsJustaSport on (August 23, 2014, 13:05 GMT)

All those blaming IPL! Wake up! Even before IPL india didn't had much of a record overseas! All those Sachin's & Dravid's even though had very good personal records, didn't win much for India in Eng & Aus.

Posted by   on (August 23, 2014, 12:55 GMT)

I really pity those supporting the MEANINGLESS IPL

Posted by anshu.s on (August 23, 2014, 10:43 GMT)

Too many fans are blaming these defeats on mainly IPL,overdose of 50 overs cricket, people with inherent biases and agendas are bringing IPL into it , then how do you explain the Lord's win which happened inspite of IPL ?? encouraging performances in SA and NZ ?? India has been losing tests in overseas conditions long before IPL came in.I saw similar discourse when Australia was beaten by England last summer , Aussie posters were saying IPL,BBL,shorter formats has destroyed the technique of young Aussie batters and Shield cricket was being undermined but i guess after Aus thrashed Eng 5-0 in the latest Ashes all that has changed.Playing Country cricket might help medium pacers build stamina like Zaheer Khan and spinners to be patient but it does not help transform a batsman,out of all English players only Sam Robson,Jordan,Woakes,Ballance plays regularly at County level and Robson looks the worst English batter out there in terms of technique and Woakes,Jordan pretty average bowlers

Posted by   on (August 23, 2014, 10:42 GMT)

Ridiculous! If all the other players of all the other teams are able to adapt to their T20 leagues, why should "especially the Indian players" do this. Players need to adapt, the game needs to evolve. Yes the Indian players' test skills have eroded since the start of the IPL but frankly they need to reprioritize and adapt and not stay out of the IPL.

Posted by notimeforcricket on (August 23, 2014, 9:46 GMT)

It is true that in the Gangooly days, India seemed to fight harder for tests. Most of my Indian friends tell me that test cricket is something of an obligation to thm and the real passion is for IPL. That said, any professional sportsman with Kohli or Pujara's reputaiton is going to have his pride dented by what happened in England. Surely it is up to the players. several players from other countries have turned down IPL in order to focus on their international careers. I am sure that the Indians could have found a way to get Kohli, Pujara and co some exposure to English conditions. Even a few games in the Lancashire league would have helped! Probably don't have to miss IPL, just squeeze it in somehow. less necessary for the bowlers. I thought the bowlers mostly did OK. India's Bowlers vs India's batsmen would have resulted in slightly (but only slightly) higher scores!

Posted by Devsonu on (August 23, 2014, 9:06 GMT)

Great thought from Fleming. It should be done. Its the time for BCCI to take a step forward, but pay the money which player was suppose to get in IPL bid. Take a example India was doing very well in Aus/Eng/SA till 2008 bcz IPL was not there, so Fleming is very much right.

Posted by   on (August 23, 2014, 7:55 GMT)

Fleming, I don't know about NZ, but India is a democratic country. How will you tell Murali Vijay & Pujara not to bat in the IPL where somebody with half their class is getting 10 times the money they make ? Like it or not, IPL has done big damage to Indian cricket - batsmen with good technique, in their search for more money have compensated on their technique to improve their chances of getting an IPL bid. Also - the cream of the visiting players through IPL interaction have learnt weaknesses of Indian players better, that they are exploiting. The only way forward for India in test cricket is to BAN IPL.

Posted by swami999 on (August 23, 2014, 7:43 GMT)

We can't criticize IPL for the poor performance in TEST.Every Nations -ENG,WI,Srilanka,Bangladesh,AUS have their own T20 Leagues.Today due to IPL we are No.1 in the this shorter format with Srilanka.It is not IPL but it is players who themselves need to decide whether they are capable for TEST,ODI or T20.

Everyone knows that as compare to others we are playing very few T20 matches during the year & only IPL experience help them to perform at T20 world cup.Because we are masters in marking, IPL gain more respect than other league BIGBASH,CLT20 etc.No one is jack of all format (except SEHWAG,SACHIN,SANGA)all they need to assess themselves.Best example against us is AUS-M.Clark,COOK.

Posted by swami999 on (August 23, 2014, 7:02 GMT)

I think this is right.Look at the history where sachin,Saurov,Dravid,Laxman,Sanga,Mahela.... they were not playing any T20 in their early days that's why ther are MASTERs in the Test.

I would like to suggest some option here 1) Allow emerging players to play County cricket in different parts of the world along with Ranji.2 ) During IPL arrange A tours & allow unauctioned players to go for that so that somebody like BADRINATH,PRAVIN KUMAR who are not selected can go for A tour & find some tune for their game.

With this dual benefit, a) players will be compensated even not selected for IPL b)There will be a option for players either to go for test cricket & find some form, which might be their future or go for t20 where they they can develop them salves as a shorter format buddy.

Posted by Collegefastbowler on (August 23, 2014, 6:37 GMT)

Ultimately it is the fans who decide. If people stop watching the IPL, sponsorships will decline and the tournament will automatically get shortened. The BCCI and the players know which side of their bread is buttered and it is the fans who get shortchanged because players have no time to prepare for Tests after focusing on preparation for the lucrative IPL. When players get auctioned for millions you cannot blame them for focusing on preparing for the shorter form of the game. If the focus is to return to Test cricket, fans need to focus on watching Test cricket rather than IPL. But the shorter format of the game is more exciting to watch because there is always a result and the game is over in a short time. People want instant gratification and cricket is going the same way.

Posted by Subhojit62 on (August 23, 2014, 5:55 GMT)

The real issue is, IPL is just too long. It must be shortened so that it gives opportunities to our younger players to go and play county cricket in England, particularly in the first half of the English summer. Also, meaningless 3 nations tournaments and bilateral ODI/T20 series have to be stopped. Players need breaks so that they can work on technique and sharpen their skills. Blaming the players only will not help. BCCI has to understand real issues and plan way forward. Without Test cricket, other formats will not survive.

Posted by   on (August 23, 2014, 3:56 GMT)

@Kazim Syed Sachin is always a very extreme example. Using his achievements to justify stuff like that is almost cheap. Sachin had seen it all and done it all before ever playing in the IPL.

Posted by   on (August 23, 2014, 3:52 GMT)

@Kazim Syed Ur take on sachin in ipl is wrong u ignored facts that he played ipl almost end of d carrier and he is so gifted batsman cant be compared with other and yes he struggled in test cricket (outside sub continent) after success in ipl but enjoyed successful ipl after successful international cricket

Posted by tasekar on (August 23, 2014, 3:13 GMT)

Why didnt Fleming suggest CSK about M.Vijay is only test player . He had won a few matches single handedly for CSK What he did not practice cant preach Disappointed with his views .

Posted by   on (August 23, 2014, 1:56 GMT)

Sachin was the most successful Indian batsman in the IPL after Raina. In fact, until last year, he was the only Indian to win the orange cap! And he was primarily a Test cricketer. Don't see anything wrong with the Pujaras/Vijays playing in the IPL.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (August 23, 2014, 1:49 GMT)

Don't forget that all the main SA, Australia, SL and Kiwi players are involved in IPL with no problems in test performances. Indian players have a problem against swinging deliveries. Our coach, BCCI scheduling of tours, worst practice matches, clueless captain, weather, some umpiring decisions and toss brought out the worst from our players. Why not just accept our basic shortcomings and the match contexts rather than blaming it on IPL for everything?

Posted by SagirParkar on (August 22, 2014, 23:49 GMT)

Could we have Fleming as India's next coach please ? he has done very well at CSK, is likely to have Srini's backing, was an astute tactician as a cricket himself and has Dhoni's trust as well...

Posted by Former_SJCC on (August 22, 2014, 23:26 GMT)

Trying to mess with the market forces of IPL could cause other issues in the future such as loss of sponsorships etc. an incremental approach may work better here. something like domestic players from india who are applicable to play in the IPL being based on first class performance. 32 ex 40+ avg for batters[4000 runs min], sub 32 average in bowling[100 wickets min]. This could build a strong first class system and players vie to have good first class records rather than a contact at 19 for the IPL. Indian international players pay to be slabbed on test appearances ex 100 plus tests, 75 plus tests etc. so a stuart binny who made his debut this season should not be paid higher than a jadeja who has played more tests who in turn should be paid lesser than a dhoni who has more tests. fact of the matter is that BCCI will not do any of this and will milk the sport till its logical death which could be another 15-20 years. i mean how many ppl r gonna watch cricket for a full day in 2035 ?

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (August 22, 2014, 23:09 GMT)

Never going to happen.Even player of limited ability like Pujara-atleast in short forms-was desperate to prove himself in IPL.Though he tried his 200 pc opening for Kings in a few games,did'nt work out,was dropped.What if same happens to him in test team?

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (August 22, 2014, 22:54 GMT)

Don't forget that all the main SA, Australia, SL and Kiwi players are involved in IPL with no problems in test performances. Indian players have a problem against swinging deliveries. Our coach, BCCI scheduling of tours, worst practice matches, clueless captain, weather, some umpiring decisions and toss brought out the worst from our players. Why not just accept our basic shortcomings and the match contexts rather than blaming it on IPL for everything?

Posted by Ms.Cricket on (August 22, 2014, 22:32 GMT)

This is a brilliant and practical suggestion but has zero percent chance of being adopted by BCCI. Fleming might also get a scolding from them since he is coach of CSK.

Posted by MrSri on (August 22, 2014, 22:10 GMT)

Continue - part 3

So if Vijay only plays Test and not participating in IPL as fleming said. Then if he has performed well and reached his contract deals with BCCI then instead of getting only 50lakhs set by BCCI contract , he gets his share from IPL common pool money - so he might end up getting 1 Million and 40 lakhs too..

Just a thought , hope there are very good clever persons who could bring some good idea based on this ...

Love cricket , same time Money is important lets make people get paid based on what they are capable of.

Posted by MrSri on (August 22, 2014, 22:07 GMT)


If player says yes, then if he doesn't perform as set goals then the money goes into the common pool. Now what will this player get paid for this matches ??.. BCCI should have a point system based on which they should pay only a part of it ...else they have a contract already saying level a ,, b , c players based on it.

Example : Mr.Gambhir gets 1 million with 100 runs per 5 matches . He fails and he gets only 20 runs for 5 matches then 1 million goes to the common pool. Since gambhir is in contract level c he gets that payment set by BCCI.

If he reaches the goal then pay him the 1 million. Nothing comes to common pool

All this common money will be paid to these set of teams that have contract with BCCI based on the point system. In this way if 50 person gets IPL money say 40 Million , I guess only 10 will reach there goals. So rest example 30 million goes to pool and shared. That way people get paid based on point system.


Posted by MrSri on (August 22, 2014, 22:01 GMT)

I don't think people going to ignore money part and stick to Test only . To be practical if you are single guy and younger than 20's you will not feel money is important and you will feel your ambition comes first. My idea would be , create a pool of team for t20 , ODI , IPL , Test , county . Lets the people action at IPL . When IPL action , team has to set goals like 5 matches minimum 90 runs in total if faced 110 Balls. If Bowler 10 Wickets atleast in 5 matches with Economy 6-7 per over.

this is getting interesting , Now let BCCI discuss with the player saying these are the goals set by IPL team and they are willing to pay 1 million dollars - do you want to go ahead and accept the deal ?

lets continue in next post ...

Posted by IndCricFan2013 on (August 22, 2014, 20:38 GMT)

I think that Fleming has got it wrong here. Test specialists like Vijay do not play ODI's. They already have plenty of time. They really need to play more during the year and keep fit during the year, so, there is nothing wrong with likes of Vijay and Pujara playing IPL. The ones, who should not play IPL is the ones, who do not perform in overseas. For example, Kohli should skip IPL and spend time county cricket and things like that that would give him enough exposure to conditions. The likes of Dravid did that, there was no IPL at that time. Test specialists can also skip IPL, but batsman like Kohli should skip IPL, especially if he is the future of Indian criket and plan to captain in India in Test.

Posted by Bones87 on (August 22, 2014, 20:01 GMT)

Are they going to offer them more money than would make in the IPL? Never, so it'll never happen. Having said that, I think it would be better for the same, but sadly the money disagrees.

Posted by Naikan on (August 22, 2014, 18:25 GMT)

I cannot agree with this concept. It is possible 10 years down the line, Tests may not be played much and T20 could be the main form of cricket - all subservient to MARKET Forces. Do not forget that this being a profession, it is unfair to restrict a person's ability to earn his bread. If a cricketer is a good student of the game, he or she will adapt and there it ends. Dravid was considered a batsmen of restricted ability in late 90s, unsuitable for one dayers. However he adapted and evolved into one of the better 1 day batsmen India had and ended up with 10000+ runs. Cricket is now a multi dimensional game. Backend analysis is being done on every player's strengths and weaknesses. So no matter what, a cricketer will never find an easy path to success. In the end a player's ability will restrict the exposure he gets - Look at how often Pujara has sat out games in IPL. It is Selectors who need to make sure they don't select Test players based on T20 performance but on 1st class games.

Posted by spintl on (August 22, 2014, 17:09 GMT)

I had posted on the same thinking couple of days back, on another article. Just to re-iterate here is my proposal: We create a pool of 50 players for each of the formats: Test, ODI & T20 Pool of 50 will comprise of : 20 Pure Batsman, 20 Pure Bowlers, 5 Genuine All Rounders & 5 Wicket Keepers Players will be given a choice to choose 1 format that they would like to play. All players irrespective of the format they choose will be paid equally, and they will play the same amount of days of cricket. Players playing T20 will be required to play IPL This will allow competition among players to play in the final XI. Captain will be chosen from the selected XI. The selected XI will be chosen by the Coach of respective formats. The coach will be given the full responsiblity.

Posted by siddhartha87 on (August 22, 2014, 17:06 GMT)

Thing is any good test player can easily be a good t20 player. Be it Tendulkar ,Lara,Hayden or Ponting they excel in longer version of the game before mastering ODIs . Test cricket is pure test skill so if you pass that you can adapt easily to any form cricket. You don't have to be a brutal hitter to do well t20. Guys like Kallis,Trott and Dravid have already proved it. T20 is for crowd development while tests are for player development

Posted by roversgate on (August 22, 2014, 16:48 GMT)

I disagree here.

Firstly, the contract system for remuneration of players needs to change so that money is given by the format you play in. So, someone like Pujara playing only tests should earn more than Raina who is playing only limited games despite both being first choice players in their XI.

Once the contract system is changed, then test batsmen should be told to skip the IPL to search for a chance to play county cricket (if a county bids for them) and once established in the test team, only then be given the ok to return back to IPL. At most they will miss 2-3 years which the higher test contract will cover them financially and after they have played a few overseas tours, they will adjust to all forms of the game like Dravid, Tendulkar and all have in the past. If no county bids then create a local tournament on green tops (surely some can be made?). Plus northern conditions are cold and ideal for green tops and starved of cricket - Dharmshala, Northeast, etc.

Posted by thinkgood on (August 22, 2014, 16:40 GMT)

Sir, this is a very good idea as I wished that BCCI would do this ever since IPL started. However, BCCI is bent on making money regardless of the future of the game. I hope they listen to this sage advise from you. Legends such as you all around the world ought to extend their helping hand to India at this difficult juncture for the sake of cricket in this country and around the world. Thank you Mr. Fleming.

Posted by y4yoga on (August 22, 2014, 16:27 GMT)

Fleming is right but got the wrong player. After watching him getting 2 100's, many crucial knocks and coaching him in IPL for 5 years, its not Vijay. Its Pujara who need to concentrate only on Test, It may be harsh on him but the truth is he's a Lakshman kind of a player who has the good temparment in Test but He no where comes near T20 or ODI, examples would be his recent Bangladesh tour and his IPL performances...

Posted by jingopack on (August 22, 2014, 16:25 GMT)

i would say ipl affected pujara....last time he was struggling to keep pace ...his team had the likes of maxwell...he told tat he has the role of being steady early on..but punjab did well witout him wit another hard hitting order to cope up wit demands of ipl he lost his tight test game

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (August 22, 2014, 16:23 GMT)

Can't agree more with Fleming here. As much as I don't think highly of tests, it's still a specialist format where you need guys who can adapt and take to it like ducks and pond water. The question whether the BCCI or the players themselves would want this. The IPL is now a serious competition and every player, India or foreigner is trying to gain instant recognition and fame by featuring in the tournament. So it will be up to each player to know where their priorities lie. Tests are 5 days long and will need special set of skills to uphold just like how aggrssive hitting, sharp fielding and fearless bowling is needed in T20s. So yes, I feel some Indian players, batsmen & bowlers together need to skip the IPL to play county cricket or first class cricket outside of India. Will they or won't they remains to be seen.

Posted by CurrentPresident on (August 22, 2014, 16:13 GMT)

It's an impractical suggestion - no player would choose test cricket over IPL for simple financial reasons and you cannot make up the loss. It's also unfair to them.

But I do agree that IPL is affecting the test players. It's not just the time window of 'only four weeks'. It's the mindset. Instead of focusing on their test match style, the players focus on improving their T-20 style so that they become more precious and get bigger pays at the auction.

So they start practicing the T-20 style shots to improve their IPL game even during the rest of the year. That becomes part of their game. The whole mindset and focus changes. So, then it becomes really hard to switch back to the tough grind and attritional nature of test cricket.

The only solution is to pay the test cricketers more than IPL (never gonna happen) or get young players into test cricket before they get into IPL.

Posted by jet2001 on (August 22, 2014, 15:58 GMT)

There has been lots of comments about Indian batsmen coming to England to play county championship cricket, counties are not interested in using their overseas player allocation to teach players how to play the swinging or seaming ball, what they are looking for is players who can add quality to their side and help them win trophies. After the recent test series I wonder how many county sides will be looking to India for their overseas players. But saying that, Cheteshwar Pujara has permission to talk to Leicestershire so this shows he wants to learn and says a lot about his character

Posted by   on (August 22, 2014, 15:55 GMT)

In fact for the player Kohli is, I would keep kohli out of T20s completely and IPL specifically. He just needs to focus on one dayers and Tests.

With Raina - he needs to be in one dayers and T20s Pujara needs to be in Tests and One dayers Rohit Sharma - T20s and One dayers Dhoni - should consider retiring from T20s more than Tests! Bhuvi should play Tests and One dayers Yuvraj - One dayers and T20s

Posted by   on (August 22, 2014, 15:26 GMT)

Guys like Murali Vijay, Pujara don't play ODIs or T20s for the national team. They do play the IPL but it is just a two month affair. A team like India might play just over 12-16 test matches a year, that is potentially 80 days of cricket, add to that 50-60 days of IPL. They have the rest 225 days to develop their game. And seamers especially like Umesh, Aaron, Ishant must be preserved exclusively for Tests and shouldn't be wasted in other formats, forcing them to get injured. So I think this would be more than sufficient.

Posted by svenkat02 on (August 22, 2014, 15:17 GMT)

Earmarking test players and making them not play the IPL and instead letting them play county cricket in England should be the way to go for the BCCI. These players should be paid a small compensation for their absence in the IPL. If they land up with a county contract in England, then the BCCI need not pay them since they will get that money from their county contract. As far as I can see, the following players can be earmarked test specialists: M Vijay, C Pujara, I Sharma. If a player volunteers to play county cricket in England and skip the IPL, the BCCI needs to back him and not force him to choose IPL ahead of county. Its a tall ask for the BCCI. But if the intl form of India has to change for good, this has to be done. Let the IPL be breeding ground for limited overs players and newcomers who need exposure.

Posted by SpaMaster on (August 22, 2014, 14:57 GMT)

What sweet yap nothings! The only Test specialists in the Indian team are Vijay, Pujara and Ishant. None of these players are wanted much in IPL and as a result they don't do much in IPL T20 games. It's all a moot point. Test specialists are Test specialists because they are not considered good enough to be in other forms and hence don't have much to be involved in other forms..

Posted by yeah_right on (August 22, 2014, 14:37 GMT)

Very well said. The top 15 players should only play 4 out of 14 league games but still get paid the same amount. I think the BCCI should realize the need for test specialists and implement this as they definitely can afford to. BCCI may be the powerhouse of cricket but for what use if they keep losing test matches abroad in less than 3 days.

Posted by true-numbers on (August 22, 2014, 13:47 GMT)

Just let test extinct, who is caring about that species! For what?

Posted by Yevghenny on (August 22, 2014, 13:31 GMT)

arun, the point about IPL affecting test players is that Indian players do not have the time to go play 1st class cricket in foreign conditions if they are in the IPL. They have plenty of time for IPL when they have an established international career. A top class test player can adapt to any format

Posted by Arrow011 on (August 22, 2014, 13:20 GMT)

Those who want to play Test cricket for long should have sense to opt for county cricket in England or first class championships in Australia & South Africa. Nowadays even after retiring from international cricket IPL chance is coming so better establish yourself as a test player & then can earn money in IPL or CPL. Rohit sharma is fit only for IPL & nowhere else. .

Posted by landl47 on (August 22, 2014, 13:11 GMT)

It's really not so much the batsmen that are the issue. Although they need to develop a sound defensive technique, that's quite manageable if they are prepared to put the work in- look at David Warner, for instance.

It's the bowlers that are becoming less and less equipped to handle tests. Bowling 20 overs a day is a far cry from 4 overs every other day and to succeed in tests it's essential to move the ball either off the pitch or through the air. That doesn't matter in the T20 competitions, because there are no close catchers anyway. Bowling attacking lines and lengths to get players out is very different from defensive bowling to keep the runs down.

By the last day of 5th test India's bowlers were out of gas and England's last 3 wickets making 101 runs in 11.3 overs shows how drained they were. England's bowlers were fit and fresh and ran through the Indian side.

Fleming's right- it's becoming a specialist game.

Posted by   on (August 22, 2014, 12:39 GMT)

There is nothing wrong with test specialists to take part in the IPL to enhance their skills. Dravid, Sachin did exceptionally well in IPL while Ganguly, Laxman and now Pujara have struggled. What went wrong against England and other overseas tests cannot be time and again attributed to IPL. But yes, BCCI should allow the younger bunch of players to participate in county cricket. Pujara and Kohli struggled throughout the England tour, Rahane, Vijay, Bhuvi and MSD did reasonably well in the first half of the tour. MSD will probably realize what took the team to the No 1 rankings in 2008, a fantastic all round team who played well in all kinds of pitches.

Posted by bestbuddy on (August 22, 2014, 12:31 GMT)

It hasnt exactly helped Pujara now has it? Keeping people away from the IPL wont help, but letting them play in other domestic competitions like the country championship and SA/Aus FC comps will help sort out their deficiencies

Comments have now been closed for this article

Email Feedback Print
ESPNcricinfo staffClose
Country Fixtures Country Results
1st Semi-Final: KKR v Hurricanes at Hyderabad (Deccan)
Oct 2, 2014 (16:00 local | 10:30 GMT | 06:30 EDT | 05:30 CDT | 03:30 PDT)
2nd Semi-Final: Kings XI v Super Kings at Hyderabad (Deccan)
Oct 2, 2014 (20:00 local | 14:30 GMT | 10:30 EDT | 09:30 CDT | 07:30 PDT)
India A v West Indians at Mumbai (BS)
Oct 3, 2014 (09:00 local | 03:30 GMT | 23:30 EDT | 22:30 CDT | 20:30 PDT)
India A v West Indians at Mumbai
Oct 5, 2014 (09:00 local | 03:30 GMT | 23:30 EDT | 22:30 CDT | 20:30 PDT)
1st ODI: India v West Indies at Kochi
Oct 8, 2014 (14:30 local | 09:00 GMT | 05:00 EDT | 04:00 CDT | 02:00 PDT)
Complete fixtures » | Download Fixtures »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days