Former India pacer Ajit Agarkar believes that Indian Premier League (IPL) has strengthened India’s bench strength and also the cricketing standard of the national team has increased with the onset of the cash-rich league.
Significantly, an an injury-ravaged Team India’s bench strength came up with stunning performences during the Australia tour recently as the newcomers and youngsters helped the visitors beat the hosts at their own backyard.
“Oh, incredible! I don’t think there’s anything that’s made the difference; we don’t want to compare things but since the IPL has come in, I’ve been a part of the IPL — people you’ve played against, you share the dressing room with them, you can see the new guys that come in the team almost look ready,” Agarkar expressed on Star Sports’ show ‘Select Dugout’.
“Everyone that comes in and the quality has increased, playing day-in-day-out with world-class players, sharing the dressing room with them. It has been massive! You could see the results, a couple of series wins in Australia in this time — half the team wasn’t there in the previous series; six or seven players missing due to injury,” he added.
Meanwhile, speaking on Suresh Raina’s, who had made a stunning comeback in the tournament after scoring a fifty in the side’s first game against Delhi Capitals in the IPL 2021, Agarkar felt that the reason for Chennai Super Kings’s poor show last year was due to the absence of the southpaw.
“We saw their struggle when he wasn’t there last season; he has been prolific for the 13 seasons of IPL. The one thing he brings in is a lot of experience. It’s such a high-pressure tournament and you need the experience as you go deeper in the tournament -plus, his runs. They (CSK) will be hoping that he still has the form that was there before,” he opined.