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Preceding IPL tournament, bio-bubble fatigue bite India in T20 World Cup campaign

With IPL culmination on October 15, Virat Kohli's men had less than two days to regroup and gear up for the T20 World Cup that kicked off on October 17.

Sahil Sethi Written by: Sahil Sethi New Delhi Updated on: November 10, 2021 11:17 IST
File image of Indian team
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES

File image of Indian team

A rock-solid Indian team, coined as India's best-ever side,' returning empty-handed from the T20 World Cup 2021 is no less than an oxymoron. While India's debacle in the marquee tournament is being termed as an abysmal start, but the true reason remains stark. An overworked team coming into the prestigious tournament with 15 months of incessant cricket that too in a bio-bubble! The jaded blue brigade was further discharged courtesy of the high-intensity games in IPL phase 2 scheduled in the UAE.  

In just a turnaround time of two days, the Indian team were expected to reunite, revitalize and come resurging on all cylinders in the high octane tournament. Thus it is a no brainer to assert the bio bubble and IPL as the root of all evil. 

The roster of IPL being a rehearsal to T20 World Cup 2021 was dashed into nothingness when India fluked against the heavyweights of Pakistan and New Zealand in the campaign openers. India did manage wins in the remaining matches against Afghanistan, Scotland and Namibia but it was too late to make any amends. 

T20 WC after IPL- India's journey towards disaster 

While IPL boasts of one of the best cricketing leagues that offers perfect competitive cricket, the same has not worked for the Indian players. Whenever the Indian players have gone into the T20 WC after the IPL, they have experienced an early exit and have failed to qualify for the knock-outs. 

When India became champions in 2007, IPL wasn't there! In fact, it never existed then! In the 2014 and 2016 T20 WC where India managed their places in the finals and semifinals respectively, the T20 WC took place before the IPL.  

In the remaining T20 World Cup-bound IPL years- 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2021, when the blue brigade had played the IPL prior to the big tournament, they have been unable to book their ticket in the knock-outs of the tournament. 

15-month jam-packed cricketing schedule in bio bubble

The stringent playing schedule in the bio bubble that started from IPL 2020 in UAE heavily tolled the Indian players that dragged for 15 long months and culminated on the T20 World Cup 2021. India played 13 Tests (including World Test Championship Final), nine ODIs, 12 T20Is, two-phased IPL 2021- all in bio-bubbles. With little to no window to have an off-field recreational time, the Indian players were drained of energy. 

It is evident that players who didn't engage in IPL, endured successful T20 World Cup campaigns both individually and as a team. Babar Azam's Pakistan and the likes of Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler from England (pulled out of IPL 2021 at the eleventh hour) have done well and registered their spot in the semifinals. 

Reputed cricket pundits, former players, players in the Indian squad and cricketing experts blamed IPL and bio-bubble exhaustion as the cause of India's dismal and unwanted performance in the T20 World Cup 2021. 

The veterans like Kapil Dev emphasised that the youngsters shouldn't be swayed by the swanky cash-rich league and prioritize nation over IPL. Even India's outgoing head coach Ravi Shastri highlighted the players' plight and the rigours of living in bio-bubbles.

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