IPL has blown the theory that T20 is for youngsters to pieces © Getty Images
IPL has blown the theory that T20 is for youngsters to pieces © Getty Images


By Vishal Chandan


T20 has always been said to be a young man’s game. Since its inception, people always believed that T20 being a fast-paced game, the oldies are misfits for this format of the game.


The Indian Premier League (IPL) has blown that theory to pieces. The IPL has shown that class will assert itself, despite advancing age. As they say, “class is permanent.”


In the first year of the IPL, barring Shane Warne, Sanath Jayasuriya and Sachin Tendulkar, many of the oldies couldn’t adjust to this fast-paced, taxing form of cricket.


Senior players like Jacques Kallis, Ricky Ponting, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble, among many others, couldn’t match up to the expectations of the people around them. People wrote them off as misfits for T20 games. They said they were more suited for the conventional format of the game and did not have it in them to unleash the big strokes that cleared the fence. They did not realize that T20 is not always about hitting sixes. While the oldies may not have the athleticism of the youngsters on the field or smash sixes like some the younger lot, they would still end up with strike higher-rates than most others because of their ability to find the gaps.


With passage of time, the senior players got into the groove and proved that a truly classy Test player will be able to adjust to any format of the game. With the Orange Cap a symbol of supremacy among batsmen, Tendulkar and Kallis are always frontrunners for top honours. Dravid also showed that he can be flamboyant, if the need be.


The issue of seniority does not stop at batting alone. At 41, Warne has shown that age has had not an adverse effect in exhibiting his awesome class to reap a rich harvest of wickets.


Then there is Muttiah Muralitharan, going on 40, but as dangerous as ever with his spin wizardy.


Anil Kumble, who was playing the IPL till last season, had one of the best economy rate – under five – in the league where bowlers shed tears of joy if they enjoyed an economy rate of 8!


Batsmen like Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden and Jayasuriya were no less dangerous in their advancing years as they were in their youth.


It’s human tendency to assume that once a player is around 35, his best is behind him. Such generalizations are always fraught with danger as the likes of Warne, Tendulkar and Gilchrist have proved.


(Vishal Chandan, an 18 year old management student, has been a passionate cricket fan for years. He has an incredible eye for cricket and is trying to showcase his talent through writing)