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IPL 2013

May 28, 2013

The case for forced player rotation in the IPL

Sourav Kumar, India

Delhi Daredevils wait for the third umpire's decision, Delhi Daredevils v Kolkata Knight Riders, 1st qualifier, IPL 2012, Pune, May 22, 2012
Give low-profile players the chance to show up the big boys © AFP
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Series/Tournaments: Indian Premier League
Teams: India

In the just concluded, long, long IPL season, one cricketing aspect that interested me was the over-dependence of some teams on certain players. Royal Challengers Bangalore have Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli, Mumbai Indians have Kieron Pollard and Kolkata Knight Riders have Sunil Narine. MS Dhoni for Chennai Super Kings and Dale Steyn for Sunrisers Hyderabad, to a lesser extent, also seem to have such an impact. If the opposition can manage to get over these impact players, they feel the job is half done.

Here is where I think the IPL can make a novel change. There should be a cap on the number of matches one player can play in the group stages of a particular season. Only the nominated captain at the beginning of the season can play the full quota of matches. The others can play a maximum of 10 or 12 matches out of the 16. It would apply to all players, Indian or foreign.

This can help in many ways. Firstly, it would test the bench strength of the teams; it will prevent any team from carrying around passengers to warm the benches. This move will give a better chance to youngsters who are often overshadowed by international players in the high-profile teams, as one Aakash Chopra article recently pointed out.

It would also introduce a tactical aspect into the game - that of deciding which player would play which match, taking into consideration the opposition and playing conditions. Lastly, it would also give players some respite from the long group stages, and the unrelenting heat.

All in all, it would be a good addition to the tournament, and a good way to bring the weak teams closer to those that have a bunch of superstars in their ranks. And it would be a new topic for discussion among IPL followers. Imagine this situation: a particular team needs to win its last two games in the league stage. You have someone like AB de Villiers with one match left, and a rank newcomer in the form of his life with one match left. Whom do you play, and in which match?

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Posted by balu on (June 1, 2013, 8:28 GMT)

Only difference from EPL(most follwed tourn irrepective of country and game) and Only solution to higher entertainment is decreasing cap to Indian:6 and foreign:5 players..........bcos no local players played a match winning abhishek nayar,ishanth pandey,suman in PWI and saurabh tiwary and arun karthik in RCB and gurkreet singh and gony in KXIP and many players who make the match...a one sided affair

In EPL there is no limit or restriction in Final XI, so there is afreedom to select according potential rather than restrictions

Posted by sourav on (May 31, 2013, 14:36 GMT)

@Yash, that's precisely where the new challenge will be for the franchises: whether they'll be able to manage a few games without their core group. This system will test their overdependence on the stars of the team.

Posted by Dummy4 on (May 31, 2013, 9:30 GMT)

@souravkr Tell me a thing dude, what is the guarantee that the uncapped players will turn out to be star players for you, consider the case of Rahul Sharma for pwi, Yusuf Pathan for kkr, Paul Valthaty for kxip, Manpreet Gony for kxip, Manish Pandey for pwi and many others, these all showed great promises initially but later fissed out. You may argue that many players have still made their name like Ashwin, Jadeja Dhawan, Vijay but the core team still comprise of players with big name like Dhoni, Ishant, Raina, Virat etc. Hence you did prefer your uncapped players or these star players?

Posted by Dummy4 on (May 30, 2013, 22:54 GMT)

It's unlikely a team would delay any key players' "time-off".. there would be a different strategy employed by captains to leave out key players in some of the easier games they think they can do without their superstar.. for example, teams RCB would leave out Gayle for games against Pune? :) some teams would opt to leave out overseas players at the beginning of the tournament where not much is at stake?? this is an interesting thought and would bring in lot of out-of-box thinking to captaincy.. so that means Dhoni would trump most once again and make sure CSK is in the final!! =)

Posted by sourav on (May 30, 2013, 16:22 GMT)

@Krish, The team might find a new match winner in the uncapped player replacing the star!

Posted by Dummy4 on (May 30, 2013, 11:57 GMT)

Although a fair idea, it will really hurt the Moneyball teams like Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad, don't you think? Teams like Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings have so many superstars and foreign players, they can easily rotate their sides and still have good teams on the park. However, teams like RR squeeze the last ounce from every player. Losing members like Hodge or Watson will be an irrecoverable blow, leading to more one-sided contests in IPL.

Posted by Dummy4 on (May 30, 2013, 11:03 GMT)

Gud idea buddy! Bt it can result in decrease in audience number as people go to watch ipl matches to watch their favourite players.with this rule they wudn't be sure that their favourite player wud play or not.Also this can result in more one-sided games as one team cud play its full strength team & other cud miss their one or two main players..The idea is interesting bt it wil hurt bcci financially..

Posted by Shorjail Ahmad on (May 29, 2013, 17:48 GMT)

Awesome Idea this ! for addition i think 5 Foreign Player Should be Allowed to Play while This 10 Match Condition Apply this will Add Aggression in the game and would give fair chance to those Foreign players who set on bench whole Season like Vetori one of the best Left Arm Spinner Probably the best he aint got a single game in whole tournament... i`ll with your Idea Sourav.

Posted by Subramanian on (May 29, 2013, 11:28 GMT)

Really a welcome idea sourav, i will go a step further to give a fair chance to all teams: International players should not play more than 6 games in the group league and uncapped players should get a minimum of 2 games per group league.

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