Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir believes that participating in the 2019 India Premier League (IPL) will help the national players to prepare for the ICC Cricket World Cup, which will start soon after the end of the domestic T20 tournament.
Gambhir's comment comes at a time when teams around the world, including India, are mulling to rest their main players from the T20 league, keeping in mind the injury concerns and fatigue factor before the major tournament.
But Gambhir said that since the bowlers bowl only four overs in the match, they should not feel the physical burden. He further stated that tournaments like IPL provide the players with an opportunity to perform in difficult situations which would help them to be in good shape for the World Cup.
The left-hand batsman asserted that a lot of high-quality players participate in the tournament which makes the tournament a "blessing in disguise."
"IPL is a fabulous opportunity for most of the boys because you are only bowling four overs in a match. There is not a lot of physical burden on you. Bowlers get to bowl in difficult situations as well which will keep them in good shape," Gambhir told reporters.
"Playing in IPL is a blessing in disguise. We keep talking about missing the IPl because of the World Cup. I don't think that way," he said.
"You don't suddenly miss the IPL and say I am going to go fresh for the World Cup. That would be from a physical point of view but not from a skill point of view," he said.
"High-quality players play in IPL and if you do well then it will keep you in very a very good state especially for a tournament like World Cup. Imagine (Jasprit) Bumrah and Bhuvi (Bhuveneshwar Kumar) performing well in death overs. It will obviously boost their confidence," he added.
When asked to comment on Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul, who have been suspended indefinitely following their misogynistic remarks in a celebrity chat show, Gambhir refused to say anything for the "matter is still under investigation".
He, however, did comment on the effect of their absence on the team which he believes would not be that grave.
"One person (KL Rahul) does not change everything. We have someone like Ambati Rayudu who has done fabulously well against West Indies and obviously deserves a chance before KL Rahul in the ODI format. I don't think KL Rahul's absence will make a lot of difference," Gambhir said.
"It is Hardik Pandya (whose absence could be felt by the team) but you can replace him with Ravindra Jadeja who is also an all-rounder. There are around ten one-day matches left before the world cup so the team should focus on maintaining consistency," he asserted.
The 2019 edition of the IPL is slated to be held from March 23 while the World Cup is slated to be held from May 30 to July 14 in England.