Former Indian coach Ramji Srinivasan, who has been with the team since 2009-13, is responsible for three reasons – the players’ inability to adapt to an event before the T20 World Cup, an inability to adapt to an event where the gap between errors after long leagues and fatigue is narrow. “The players give their best for the franchise and look to the end of the IPL business. It is very difficult to find the same height again in two weeks,” Ramji told TOI.
In the IPL, the teams also get 14 matches and of course there can be ups and downs. “But in the T20 World Cup, one or two bad days can end your event. It happened to us in the 2009-12 season,” the coach said.
Toi has watched four T20 World Cups, including 2021, where India missed (or are about to miss) knock-outs.
2009: The 2009 IPL was held in South Africa from 18 April to 24 May when the T20 World Cup started on 5 June. After two months of travel and cricket in South Africa, there was no time for Indian players to recover. The situation in England, too, was significantly different than in South Africa and MS Dhoni’s men have lost their three Super 8 matches – to the West Indies, South Africa and England – coach Gary Kirsten said the team was suffering from IPL fatigue. . Note that Pakistan had no representation in the IPL and they won the T20 World Cup.
2010: This time, the IPL final was on April 25 and India was in the West Indies shortly thereafter for the T20 World Cup from April 30. Once again, India were miserable in the Super 8, beating Australia, Sri Lanka and the West Indies. The slow pitches of the West Indies were not conducive for Indian stroke-players after a two-month long run-fest in the IPL.
2012: The 2012 defeat, presumably, cannot be directly blamed for IPL fatigue, as India went to the World Cup in Sri Lanka two months after the event. But then, as Ramji said earlier, the players reached their T20 peak during the franchise event and it was difficult to recreate it in the T20 World Cup. However, they have won two games in the Super 8 and dropped out of the net run rate, outpacing Australia and Pakistan from the group.
2021: Without Covid, we would not have been able to face this extraordinary situation where India had to go to the T20 World Cup just after the second round of the IPL. But as Jaspreet Bumrah mentioned, Bubli’s fatigue could be a factor as all the Indian stars have been in the UAE since September before a long series in England. All the hype of adapting to the UAE pitch through IPL games has also flattened out and teams like Pakistan and England, where there are more new players after a decent break, have faced more threats so far.