Nasser Hussain calls IPL "finishing school" for players; deems it as reason behind England's progress 

The former England skipper talked up the influence of IPL on English and world cricket.

England's approach to cricket has changed since embracing the IPL | IANS

Change in mindset regarding the Indian Premier League (IPL), former skipper Nasser Hussain says, has been the major reason behind England's rapid progression in white-ball cricket post the 2015 World Cup.  

The England team crashed out without making it to the quarterfinals in Australia and the pain of that has resulted in an amazing transformation in attitude and approach under Eoin Morgan's inspirational leadership. 

Read Also: ‘Virat Kohli wouldn't want to hand anything over’ – Nasser Hussain on split captaincy in Indian cricket

England lifted the 50-over World Cup trophy for the very first time last year and having seen the whole journey himself from the commentary box, Hussain reckons it is embracing the IPL that played an extremely crucial role, with the likes of Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Jofra Archer & co rubbing shoulders with the best and learning on the go. 

"Obviously money is important. Some of these figures are life-changing figures. West Indies love the IPL because it gives them sums of money that they can never dream of," Hussain told Cricbuzz

"But you cannot argue that when you go and play in the IPL, you're playing against the best players. You look at all those team sheets, they are like a World XI. Because they are playing in that big crowd, it helps you handle the pressure."

"IPL isn't a learning school, it's a finishing school. It finishes you off as a cricketer, those bits that are missing, like playing spin on drier pitches, it helps you learn that and finishes you off as a cricketer," he added. 

Hussain took the example of Stokes' Headingley and World Cup final heroics to explain what IPL has done to the confidence of some of these English players. 

"The two innings that Ben Stokes played in the 2019 summer, at Headingley and in the World Cup final... In Headingley, he went into IPL mode when batting with Jack Leach. Some of the shots he played, like the reverse switch hit into the Western Terrace off Lyon, he can't play that unless he's played in the IPL," he said. "Also the World Cup final innings. He can't handle that pressure unless you've been in the pressurized cauldron before."

The trust built and the friendships created while spending the best part of two months in India are also integral to players' overall growth, said Hussain. 

"You learn from these people around the dressing room. You go to the IPL and you have some great players and some great coaches like Moody and Fleming and Ponting."

"Also there are stories like Bairstow and Warner. Warner absolutely went at Bairstow at the Ashes before they joined at Hyderabad and they became friends and their partnership at the top of the order was unbelievable."

"IPL does bring people together. So when they are next playing, Ben Stokes will realize that Steve Smith (Rajasthan Royals teammate) is a pretty decent guy," he signed off. 

(Inputs from Cricbuzz)


By Kashish Chadha - 13 May, 2020

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