Challenges await players transitioning from IPL to WTC Final in England, says Shane Watson | Business Upturn

Challenges await players transitioning from IPL to WTC Final in England, says Shane Watson

The upcoming World Test Championship (WTC) final at the Oval between India and New Zealand presents a unique challenge for players, as they have to swiftly transition from the fast-paced Indian Premier League (IPL) to the demands of a Test match in England. Former Australia all-rounder Shane Watson has described this transition period as “extreme” and emphasized the need for players to adapt quickly.

The tight turnaround time between the IPL and the WTC final poses a significant challenge for players from both teams. Indian players such as Shubman Gill, Ravindra Jadeja, and Mohammed Shami were part of the IPL final just over a week ago and now have to prepare for the all-important Test match in England. This quick shift from the IPL’s T20 format to the traditional red-ball cricket in England is unprecedented, offering minimal time for adjustment.

Watson, who has experienced similar transitions during his career, advised players to focus on acclimatizing to the conditions and getting used to the Dukes ball in the nets. He stressed the importance of facing new balls and replicating match scenarios to regain their batting form and technique.

The Indian players faced a similar challenge in the last WTC final held in England in June 2021 after the IPL, but the postponement of the 2021 IPL provided them with more preparation time, albeit with Covid-related complications. Some of the Indian players have also toured England after previous IPL seasons but had longer lead times to prepare.

Comparing the current scenario to his own experiences, Watson acknowledged the difficulty of a quick turnaround and highlighted the importance of focusing on defensive techniques, facing the moving ball, and developing a game plan for the swinging Dukes ball. He mentioned the absence of tour matches for the players this time, which adds to the challenge of getting accustomed to the ball’s consistent swing.

Bowling workloads will also be a major concern, particularly for India’s bowlers. While Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood has already been ruled out of the WTC final to allow for better preparation for the upcoming Ashes series, the other Australian fast bowlers have had sufficient time to build up their red-ball bowling loads. Indian bowlers, on the other hand, may face a similar challenge as New Zealand’s Trent Boult did last year when he had to play a Test match just four days after the IPL final.

Watson emphasized the need for players to manage their bodies and workloads effectively during this transition. Despite the demanding circumstances, he encouraged the players to embrace the challenge and give their best on the field.

The quick transition from the IPL to the WTC final in England undoubtedly presents a unique test for the players involved. Their ability to adapt swiftly, focus on the basics, and manage their physical and mental demands will play a crucial role in determining their performance in the highly anticipated Test match.