The Indian Premier League will add two more teams from 2010. This means 14 more Indian players in addition to the 56 who are playing for the existing eight teams. A close scrutiny reveals that though the Indians are getting more opportunities in the IPL, the percentage of Indians proving themselves is very low.
Whether in batting, bowling or fielding, the captains rely more on foreign players. Only in Mumbai Indians, Sachin Tendulkar is playing as if he is in a single-wicket competition. The foreigners in the team are just complementing his effort.
In other teams, whenever a main foreign player fails the teams have struggled. The point is the skill and the desired level of temperament among the Indians is so low that execution is not precise.
Robin Uthappa is definitely an exception. It is unfortunate that he could not get a berth in the team for the ICC World T20. There has been a suggestion from some of the foreigners in the IPL that the number of overseas players be raised to five. The Indians have said, since this is the IPL, more Indians should be given opportunity. Certainly, the addition of one player should smoothen the process of finding the right combination that most captains in the IPL are striving for.
To raise the level of the matches in the IPL, they could consider five foreigners for 50 per cent of the matches. This will definitely enhance the skill level and help the teams work on their strategies better.
If a team is adding a foreign player it should inform the IPL Committee 24 hours before the match. That would make the match interesting. At the moment it is clear who the four foreign players are because no team carries all the 10 foreigners with it.
The franchises too have different policies. One encourages local talent while teams like Mumbai Indians is not too bothered about local talent even though Mumbai has won the Ranji Trophy at will. In the Mumbai Indians team, apart from Tendulkar, there is nobody else from Mumbai. Zaheer Khan is from the district of Shrirampur in Maharashtra. The coaches, too, are from Tamil Nadu.
MI believed it picked the best talent and the coaching staff in the country, and yet when Tendulkar fails it struggles. When you pick the best talent and are yet not sure of winning the game, there is something basically wrong somewhere with the selection process.
Royal Challengers Bangalore on the other hand has a good bench strength that was churned out by the KSCA Academy which was functional for five years (till 2005). Except Abhimanyu Mithun, all the youngsters of RCB are the products of that academy.
This goes to prove that if players are properly trained in all aspects of the game by their respective associations, they can handle any format with confidence.
The Karnataka team did exceedingly well in the longer version and the same players are impressive in T20 also. It's more about getting the basics right.