‘Which fool would value playing IPL over international cricket’ – Ravi Shastri quashes criticism on Indian players

‘Which fool would value playing IPL over international cricket’ – Ravi Shastri quashes criticism on Indian players

Shastri's tenure as India's head coach ended following the side's ouster in the T20 World Cup 2021.

Ravi Shastri
Ravi Shastri. (Photo by Satyabrata Tripathy/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Contrary to expectations, Team India endured a horrendous campaign in the T20 World Cup 2021 and got knocked out of the league stage. India’s failure was indeed astonishing as the side was studded with numerous match-winners. However, players couldn’t live up to the expectations against Pakistan and New Zealand. The same cost India a place in the semi-final of the gala event.

With the Virat Kohli-led side putting up an under-par show, many reckoned the players drained themselves out in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 and weren’t fresh for the global event. The same earned Team India a lot of criticism. Former Indian head coach Ravi Shastri, whose tenure ended following the Men in Blue’s ouster from the competition also admitted a longer break between the IPL and World Cup would have been ideal.

A bigger gap between the IPL and the World Cup would have been ideal: Ravi Shastri

However, he strongly denied the allegations of Indian players prioritizing IPL over international cricket. “I am mentally drained but I expect that at my age. These guys are physically and mentally drained, six months in a bubble and we would have ideally liked a bigger gap between the IPL and the World Cup,” Shastri told Star Sports before the rubber against Nambia.

“It’s when the big games come and when the pressure hits you – you are not that switched on as you should be. And it’s not an excuse. We take defeat because we are not scared of losing. Because in trying to win, you will lose a game. Here we didn’t try to win because that X-factor was missing,” he added.

Shastri, who’s all but likely to make a comeback in the commentary box, further said that all the Indian players are determined to shine in national colours and aren’t prioritizing franchise cricket.

“Absolutely. No question about it, otherwise you can’t have these kinds of performances over the last 5 years. If your mind is not there when playing for the country… which fool would value that (playing for the franchise) over playing for the country,” Shastri told India Today.

“They are playing for India, you have got that badge on your chest, watched by billions around the world. You are lucky to be one of the 11 in a country of 1.4 billion people representing your country. So that’s all far-fetched, whoever says all that I have no time,” he added.