Strauss: IPL a risk worth taking for England stars
LONDON: England director of cricket Andrew Strauss believes the vital experience gained from sending the country’s players to the IPL far outweighs the risk of them picking up injuries during the T20 tournament.
All-rounder Ben Stokes returned from his impressive maiden IPL stint to help England take an unassailable 2-0 lead in a one-day international series against South Africa but a knee issue led him to skip the final match, which the tourists won.
Fellow IPL debutant Chris Woakes, nursing a quad niggle, played only one match against the Proteas, even though there was no confirmation that they had sustained their injuries in India.
“That is the slight risk you take when you make people available for a chunk of cricket that is outside the international schedule,” Strauss told reporters.
“Injuries are part and parcel of life, but on one hand you weigh up the potential risk and on the other you ask what they can potentially gain from that experience. That’s what forms the decision,” the former captain added.
The injuries were not of “massive concern” and the duo sat out the final South Africa one-dayer as a “precautionary” measure ahead of the Champions Trophy beginning today, he added.
Strauss is convinced the IPL experience has given the England players added impetus to continue their white-ball resurgence and claim a first global 50-overs title on home soil.
“We’ve seen that already with the maturity that Ben is spinners into the game later on and as the tournament moves towards the back end.”
So, will Edgbaston be a replica of Eden Gardens then? “No, no … you’re still playing in England and your seam bowlers will have their opportunity to strike with the new ball,” Peterson said.
“It’s not going to rag around corners either. The ball doesn’t turn that extravagantly in England. But there will be just enough purchase for the spinners. Captains will be glad that they have the variation in their attack that the spinners provide, but it will be interesting to see how the captains utilise their spinners according to the conditions.”
Peterson believes South Africa are well-stocked in the spin department. Imran Tahir is the leading spinner on the international circuit and left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj has shown useful promise.
“Immy is world class,” Peterson said. “There’s no doubt about that. playing with the bat.
“And it looked like he’s improved his bowling at the death tremendously too,” he said of the all-rounder, who lived up to his $2.17 million price tag for the Rising Pune Supergiant.
“I think Chris Woakes was saying that to go there, to learn from the best players in the world and pit themselves against the best players in the world...
“They come back from that experience knowing they’re as good as anyone out there. The deep-rooted belief they He hardly bowls a bad ball any longer. Just so consistent. He also loves the big stage and these ICC tournaments. It’s almost as he raises his game to a higher level.
“Keshav’s done wonderfully well since his coming into the Proteas environment. He has been superb in Test cricket and now he is getting a chance in one-day cricket. I thought he was unlucky on debut in Southampton with a couple of catches going down, so it was good for his confidence that he picked up a few wickets at Lord’s.” get from that is massively important,” Strauss added.
While he was all for England players enriching themselves with the 20-overs experience in India, Strauss remains reluctant to allow players to skip Test matches for the IPL.
“Personally, I think that’s unlikely,” he said.
“When you get to the stage where you’re missing Test matches to play in IPL that sends out a very strong message about where your priorities are and I would be uncomfortable with that.” – Reuters