The glitz and glamour of the IPL always remained the main event of the year as far as franchise cricket is concerned. It is true that the high octane players provided a substantial standard of living to various players out of anonymity.
The high-profile event also gave a chance to don the blues of the Indian team, rising to fame through one glorious season.
However, as an Indian selector, one must not get carried away by the charismatic event and also focus on the pedigree of players, doing the hard yards in the domestic circuit.
Recent history can only confirm that apart from the spectators, the selection panels are also overawed by performances from players in the IPL, which leads to a certain set of players representing the nation out of the blue.
But, first-class cricketers who work hard to compile their runs and take the hard wickets in complete oblivion are the worst hit due to the tendency of the selectors.
Since the beginning of IPL, it gave a number of Indian internationals, who faded away in due course due to their lacklustre performance in the national as well domestic level.
One has to take into account that IPL is a condensed form of cricket which appears annually for a month and a half, whereas domestic cricket goes year round.
For e.g., Manpreet Gony, Gurkeerat Mann, Saurabh Tiwary, Mohit Sharma, and Rishi Dhawan, all made their ODI debuts on the back of solid performances in one or two seasons of IPL. All the players above are not even in the reckoning when it comes to ODIs presently.
Siraj completed his half-century with the ball twice in three matches
The reason may be cited out as their frail looking domestic records which enabled them to lead unsuccessful international careers. The likes of Rahul Sharma, Sudeep Tyagi, Parvinder Awana, Mohammed Siraj and Basil Thampi, all have been included in the T20I squad due to their stature in franchise cricket.
Siraj, with his spell today, surpassed the 50-run mark twice in three games played at the International level. When we compare Siraj’s numbers in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, to the other talents such Pradeep Sangwan, Khalil Ahmed and Deepak Chahar, he stands nowhere.
Still, selectors insisted with Siraj, in the matches where the key players were given rest. The name of Mayank Aggarwal also came into the forefront. Since batting has never been an issue for the Indian team, the topic of prolific run scorers in the domestic circuit is never discussed.
Amol Muzumdar, Wasim Jaffer, Baba Aprajit and Unmukt Chand are some of the stalwarts in domestic cricket, who perpetually waited, or are still waiting to feature in the Indian team.
Amongst others, Faiz Fazal, Robin Bisht, Sitanshu Kotak, Sunil Valsan and several more, have continued to pile on the runs and pick up their wickets day in day out. But an International cap devoids them. This only portrays that domestic performances remain obsolete when it comes to national selection in the country.
Which only goes to show that Indian selectors definitely have overlooked the domestic performances being blinded by the charisma of Indian Premier League (IPL) over the last few years.