“The choice is yours…” Ravi Shastri Sparks Debate Over Choosing IPL And WTC Final Preparation

Former India coach Ravi Shastri has sparked a debate regarding preparing the Indian team for the World Test Championship (WTC) final following their comprehensive defeat against Australia at the Oval. Shastri’s remarks about the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the need for a gap between the tournament and the final have raised questions about the players’ priorities and the planning of the cricketing calendar.

After India’s 209-run loss to Australia in the WTC final, head coach Rahul Dravid suggested that arriving in England earlier and playing warm-up matches would have been beneficial preparation. However, Shastri offered a contrasting viewpoint, putting the players responsible for making decisions regarding their participation in the IPL and the subsequent preparation for the final.

Shastri dismissed the notion when asked about the possibility of a significant gap between the IPL and the WTC final, stating that players would have to make their own choices. He emphasized the need for realism and acknowledged that players would only have a limited rest period between the two events. Shastri suggested that if players desired a longer gap, they would have to sacrifice their participation in the IPL.

“That’s never going to happen. Let’s be realistic. You’re going to get 20 days, but if that’s the case, you have got to miss the IPL. The choice is yours (players). It’s up to the establishment as well. I’m sure the BCCI is going to review this in the future. If the WTC Final is going to come after the IPL in June, for that season, if your team qualifies for the final, there should be certain clauses put in for the franchises,” Shastri said on Star Sports.

Shastri hinted that discussions would be necessary between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and IPL teams to address the issue and plan for future seasons. He believed that if the WTC final were to consistently follow the IPL, certain provisions would need to be implemented, possibly involving clauses for franchises to accommodate player requirements.

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In addition to the IPL debate, Shastri criticized the shot selection of the Indian top-order batsmen in the WTC final. He expressed disappointment in Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara for playing poor shots despite batting well until then. Shastri’s comments highlight the missed opportunities and the need for better decision-making during crucial moments.

“What’s amazed me, though, is how the pitch has behaved. Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara will be kicking themselves for playing the shots that they played. They were poor shots when they were batting beautifully,” said Shastri.

The debate brings to the forefront the need for effective coordination between the BCCI and IPL franchises to ensure optimal player preparation and performance in major international tournaments. Additionally, the criticism of shot selection underscores the importance of decision-making and composure during high-pressure situations.

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