More than Ranji, IPL key to Indian cricket’s success: Sachin Tendulkar

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Recognition and appreciation won by performing in the Indian Premier League work wonders for a young player in comparison with domestic tournaments, said Sachin Tendulkar in Mumbai on Wednesday. The world’s biggest T20 league, the 2019 edition of which is scheduled to be played from March 23, has had tremendous contribution in India’s rise across formats, the former master-blaster added.

“IPL, I think, has had a tremendous contribution. It has given exposure to our youngsters; to believe that they can compete against anyone in the world. I think we are in that fortunate position to dominate in the world,” Tendulkar said during an IDBI Federal Life Insurance event here.

Tendulkar heaped praise on youngsters Jasprit Bumrah, Mayank Agarwal and even Kuldeep Yadav, who played big roles in India’s first Test series win in Australia.

“About three-four years ago when all the captains were felicitated in Kanpur, I had said that we have the right balance of senior cricketers and new faces like Kuldeep (Yadav) and Bumrah and some other incredibly talented guys,” Tendulkar said.

“The latest would be Prithvi (Shaw)… Mayank (Agarwal) has done well. We have the right balance but overall I feel (if) you do well in the IPL, everyone takes notice. Those guys may have done really well in Ranji Trophy or in the Duleep Trophy but the rest of the world does not know about it,” Tendulkar observed.

“IPL takes you to a different level altogether. That has been our strength and in the last 10 years of IPL, we have seen more and more young talent flourish, and that is only because the right platform was provided.”

Tendulkar said India’s win in Australia will attract the young generation to take up playing cricket. “The team has done really well and the brand of cricket (which) India has been able to produce was magnificent,” he said.

Tendulkar singled out Cheteshwar Pujara for being one of the biggest factors in India’s win.

“The bowlers have done exceedingly well, (but) I think somewhere Pujara has been instrumental in laying that solid foundation on which a number of guys who got runs, Virat (Kohli) got runs in the second Test, in third Test Ajinkya (Rahane) had that crucial partnership, then Rishabh (Pant) and (Ravindra) Jadeja … I think if I have to pinpoint one guy then Pujara stands out along with the fast bowlers.”

Tendulkar said BCCI can make its domestic circuit one of the best by producing challenging wickets for both batmen and bowlers.

“I feel if we could keep more challenging wickets for batsmen it would help the standard of playing. We have had a number of opinions on this but I have always felt that (if) you play on difficult tracks, your standard of playing automatically goes up.”

“But that does not mean the bowler should just come and roll their arm over (to get wickets). For bowlers must learn to control their swing or spin,” Tendulkar added.