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Don't blame IPL for WT20 flop: Gavaskar

July 02, 2009 22:08 IST

Batting legend Sunil Gavaskar says it is wrong to blame the Indian Premier League, held in South Africa in April-May, for defending champion India's early exit from the Twenty20 World Cup in England.

"I don't think IPL can be conceived in any other way. The home and away concept is so essential to it. This time it was played in South Africa, even there this (concept) worked. Our team got outplayed (in the World T20). I would not look too much into it," he said after delivering the inaugural Dilip Sardesai Memorial Lecture in Mumbai on Thursday.

Gavaskar also saw Indian batters' perennial weakness against short-pitched deliveries as not an added concern as he felt it was due to lack of familiarity with bouncers that did the batsmen in.

"There's a lot of cricket (that has) been played where there were not many short balls, and so the balance tends to be on the front foot. Then when suddenly there are short pitched deliveries, you can't adjust to it. I think that's what happened (to the Indian team). I think there need not be too much concern about it," he said.

Indian batsmen were made to hop by the short-pitched deliveries bowled at them by pacers in the T20 World Cup and also in the ongoing ODI series in the West Indies.

On the transition of India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni from an all-out attacking batsman to a more cautious run-getter, Gavaskar said this was perhaps because the Ranchi-born wicket-keeper wants to prolong his career.

"As a spectator you want to see him as a dasher, because you want to get your moneys worth. But there is also the longevity (factor). Dhoni is perhaps cautious in his approach but he is working hard on his batting," he said.

The cricketer-turned-commentator felt even in this age of instant gratification which has led to the popularity of T20 cricket, there is still time and place for the five-day game.

He also said since most Tests these days end in four or a little over four days, the International Cricket Council is mulling over changing its length from five to four days.

"If you take a look, most Tests are giving results in four days or four-and-half days. Probably that's why they have mooted this idea. I am sure Test cricket has a place of its own. The players too realise the importance of doing well in Tests," he said.

Gavaskar also did not think it was proper to blame the IPL for the Cricket Board's decision to do away with the Deodhar Trophy limited oers tournament in the 2009-10 season.

"I don't think its due to the IPL. There is so much of international cricket -- the Champions League, Sri Lanka's visit and the tour of Bangladesh. I am sure it will be there (in the coming seasons)," he said.

Looking back at his career eight days before his 60th birthday, the legendary opener said, above everything else he cherishes the affection bestowed on him by the people of India.

"(I look back) on the mate-ship and camaraderie from the cricketing fraternity, and, above all, the affection the people of India have shown on me. No money can buy that spontaneous affection," he pointed out.

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