Today, the nightmarish England tour is coming to an end for this humiliated Indian team. Not a single international win yet in over 2 months of the tour! Several postmortems have already been carried out, both in the mainstream media and on the internet. IPL has been blamed as the main reason by most people. Here, let me share my thoughts of the last ~ 5 months:
* First of all, starting a cricket extravaganza within a week of a long World Cup is utter crap. Probably the organizers of IPL didn't expect India to go all the way into the finals, and win it too. While plannnig, it was imperative to give atleast 2 weeks time for both the fans and the players to recuperate.
* The IPL was one week too long. With 10 teams playing, it would have been very easy to squeeze in 2 games in nearly all the days, except Mondays. The ad revenues would have suffered due to less eyeballs, but that is no excuse.
* The current injury-list of Indian team mostly has players who were either over-worked or under-prepared. Both required good body-management skills. I believe that India certainly has 20 players who can play in any of the 3 formats. The key is to identify those 20 and nurture them well throughout the year. They have to be given a strict training schedule, so that we dont see bloated cricketers on match day. I think Indian team management badly failed to do that.
* BCCI's calendar-management is utterly crazy, to put it mildly. Just a cursory look at all the teams' calendar for the next 9 years will tell you that Indian team's schedule is the tightest. You would hardly see empty spaces in them, and even if they are, they are in Indian summer, meaning the highly gruelling IPL is gonna fill all those spaces.
* I have made my own FTP for Indian team for the duration 2011-2015 and put it along with the current FTP from ICC's website. Mine covers India's series with every team, both home and away (except a tour to Pak, which I have no idea when will happen). Look at it in the form of Gantt chart below. The top ones are ICC's FTP and the bottom ones are mine.
* Yearwise comparisons are:
Year ICC's FTP My FTP
# free weeks # engagements # free weeks # engagements
2011 4 9 18 7
2012 7 8 11 7
2013 10 9 16 7
2014 4 9 12 8
2015 6 8 12 7
* Our cricketers need atleast 10 weeks of cricket-free week to have life of their own, and also to take care of themselves, to be physically strong and mentally fresh to play for India. If only BCCI allows them that huge luxury instead of killing the golden geese..