IPL 2019 can play a role in World Cup selection, says Kumara Sangakkara
With the IPL preceding the World Cup for the first time, Sangakkara sees the T20 tournament giving national selectors some headaches.
Though India skipper Virat Kohli has categorically rejected the idea that a player's form in the Indian Premier League will have an influence in his selection into the World Cup squad, former Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara believes that the high-pressure T20 tournament may make a strong case for a few players to be on the plane to England. It has been noted in the past that several players, both Indian and foreign, have made it to the their national teams based on a good outing in the IPL.
As far as Team India are concerned, the World Cup squad is almost in place barring the No. 4 slot. After relentless experimentation, Kohli & Co seemed to have settled on Ambati Rayudu for the No. 4 position. However, after returning with scores like 13, 18 and 2 in the first three ODIs against Australia, Rayudu was dropped for the last two games, reigniting the debate for the No. 4 slot.
Headache for selectors
With the IPL preceding the World Cup for the first time, Sangakkara sees the T20 tournament giving national selectors some headaches. “It cuts both ways. It gives you a high quality tournament and tests your skills before the World Cup. Some selectors might keep an eye on the IPL to see how the players are doing in the cases where certain slots are still open,” Sangakkara said on the sidelines of Star Sports Select Dugout yesterday.
Delhi Capitals' Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya of Mumbai Indians during a practice session ahead of Sunday's tie at Wankhede yesterday. Dhawan, who struggled in four ODIs against Oz and Pandya, making a comeback after injury, will look to impress selectors with a good IPL show. Pic/Sures Karkera
The high-octane IPL may also cause some casualties and that's a worrying factor for national team coaches and the think-tank, felt Sangakkara. “Injury management becomes an issue to understand when certain players should and shouldn't be played. There are a lot of [national cricket] boards pulling out players at certain times. So strategy-wise, it is an interesting dilemma for certain [IPL] sides,” said Sangakkara.
Finally, besides players trying to ensure they are in prime form before the World Cup, there are also some players who are returning from injuries, and they will be keenly watched at the IPL too.
Smith's injury worse: Jones
Dean Jones, the former Australian batsman, revealed that Steven Smith's elbow injury is a lot worse than that of his Aussie teammate David Warner. The duo are returning to the fold after completing their one-year ban in the ball tampering saga. “I have spoken [to both] Smith and Warner. Smith particularly, [his] elbow is a lot worse than Warner's. And that might play [a role] particularly in his selection [for the initial IPL matches],” said Jones.
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