3 players from Team India could have missed if not for the IPL
1. Rohit Sharma
It all began when an injured Yuvraj Singh had to be sidelined for a game against South Africa in T20 World Cup 2007. It was then when Rohit Sharma got his first opportunity. Even before he made his debut, there were several whispers all around about him and his elegant strokeplay. There were talks about a teenager from Mumbai who could play three to four shots off the same ball.
He was pleasing to the eye and a free stroke-maker. Back then, it was also claimed that Rohit could replace Sachin at number four in Tests in the future. However, his poor shot selection and the knack of gifting his wicket to the opposition have cost him dearly. Rohit Sharma had to pay the price and was not selected for the prestigious World Cup 2011 squad.
With the kind of lazy cricket that he played, he would have been long forgotten if it was not for the IPL. Being picked by the Deccan Chargers was a great turning point in his career. Then, he moved to the Mumbai Indians and time and again came up with performances that reminded the selectors of the talent that he possessed. If not for the IPL, Rohit Sharma might have surely not got as many opportunities at the start of his career.
2. Ravindra Jadeja
Rockstar – the nickname given by the legendary Shane Warne to Ravindra Jadeja. The young cricketer, full of energy, seemed to be the solution for the ever-lasting all-rounder search for India. In his initial days, he was touted as a highly accurate bowler and an agile fielder.
While he wasn’t as consistent with the bat, Ravindra Jadeja surely was capable of smashing a ball or two out of the park. However, the Saurashtra cricketer found it hard to justify his all-rounder tag because of the inconsistency with the willow. He was in and out of the Indian team and didn’t get many chances on a consistent basis.
However, the IPL came to rescue and kept him in the reckoning just as it was in the case of Rohit Sharma. After his stint with the Royals, Jadeja was bought by the Chennai Super Kings (CSK). He got immense backing from MS Dhoni who was also India’s skipper back then. While he took a while to establish himself, he ensured that he developed his game well enough so that he could represent the team across all the three formats.
3. Hardik Pandya
After Kapil Dev, Team India really struggled to find a genuine fast-bowling all-rounder. In the years gone by, there were several players who rose up but couldn’t really deliver up to the expectations. While this search seemed to be eternal, Hardik Pandya came as a ray of hope.
The Mumbai Indians’ talent scouts identified him and picked him in the squad for the 2015 season. Right in his first season, the Baroda cricketer was highly impressive with the bat. He smashed the ball long and hard. Moreover, he was an extremely handy pacer as well.
Thus, Hardik was fast-tracked into the Indian team. While he was first picked in the T20I side, he then eventually made it into the ODI and Test teams as well. If not for the IPL, Hardik Pandya might have required much more time to get identified and make it into the Indian team.