Virat Kohli Ajinya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli during a Test match Down Under © Getty Images

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced that it will host a shortened version of Indian Premier League (IPL), commencing this September, labelling it as Mini IPL. Is it not a good news for the fans who go out of synchronisation with Test cricket? Unquestionably, it is! If truth be told, IPL is the most celebrated domestic league. It features the most followed cricketers. And, to add fuel to the fire, we see former cricketers coaching and mentoring the young guns. It is a pure form of entertainment. With nine seasons already done, it has now turned a new leaf. All eight teams will battle for the coveted trophy overseas (location yet to be announced) in a shorter tournament every year. Read – BCCI’s 4-day conclave ends: Anil Kumble’s appointment, Mini IPL and other topics discussed

However, given India has a hectic Test cricket schedule ahead of them, participating in the Mini IPL will only exhaust their energy levels as well as kill their desire to play the game. Before we discuss it in details, let us walk through India’s schedule until summer.

India will play 17 Tests, starting next month until IPL 2017 — 4 against West Indies, 3 against New Zealand, 5 against England, 4 against Australia and 1 against Bangladesh. All in all, 85 exhilarating yet tiring days. Additionally, they will play also play bilateral ODIs and T20Is as well. Read: Why Kumble is ideal choice for India coach?

Let us briefly look at Indian Test players’ contribution to IPL.

Virat Kohli, India’s captain in the longest format, leads Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). His staggering records, immense contribution and impactful presence in IPL are known to everyone. He, however, split the web on his left hand during the recently-concluded IPL. Despite getting stitches, he continued playing, eventually guiding his team to the final.

Ajinkya Rahane, on the other hand, plays a major role for Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS). He, as a matter of fact, was the highest scorer for RPS, and has been India’s most consistent player overseas. He scored centuries in England, Australia, Sri Lanka and New Zealand.

Other cricketer who play a major role in IPL as well as Test cricket are Murali Vijay, Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan, and KL Rahul, among others.

Kohli will not mind playing the Mini IPL. He, in fact, will take it as a challenge. He may even win maiden Mini IPL Trophy for RCB. The same goes for other Indian Test cricketers. Read – Anil Kumble’s support staff: Pravin Amre, Ravi Shastri and others in contention

Moving from T20 to Test cricket or vice versa, players these days find it difficult to come to terms with different formats. Team India — more than over — needs the players in the pink of their health and peak of their form. And Mini IPL will only take a toll on their body. For T20 cricket, from practising in the nets to performing on the field, everything is high intensity.

Hence, the question beckons: should Indian Test cricketers participate in Mini IPL?

(Kaustubh S. Mayekar, a reporter at CricketCountry, played cricket at U-16 level. Like his idol Rahul Dravid, he often shadow-practises cricket shots. His Twitter handle is @kaumedy_)