|Event:||ICC World Twenty20 2009|
DateLine: 16th June 2009
India coach Gary Kirsten said he does not believe that IPL has given his side any advantage in T20 cricket.
Having won the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 in 2007 and stolen a march on their rivals by setting up the IPL, many saw MS Dhoni's side as favourites to win in England.
The case though turned different as first West Indies and then England defeated the Indian outfit and the favourites crashed out even before the semifinals.
Now head coach Kirsten has raised question marks over the validity of the IPL as a proving ground for international cricketers. He also suggested his top stars may be better served by using the in-between window for rest and recuperation.
"The one thing that didn't play into our hands here is that we had a bunch of cricketers who were quite tired when they arrived," said South African Kirsten.
"That's not an excuse because we were aware we had a demanding schedule, but we never got to the level of intensity you need to in the international game.
"It probably didn't help that we had two relatively low intensity (group) games against Bangladesh and Ireland. But the standard of cricket and the quality of cricket has been higher than we experienced in the IPL.
"That is a domestic competition, a club competition in many respects. While you've got international players playing in the teams, you've got first-class cricketers making up the rest.
"I sense there's a reasonably big gap between what's happening at the IPL level and what's happening internationally.
"When you are picking the best XI from each country the quality is going to go up substantially."
Kirsten said that many a players entered the tournament with niggles picked up during IPL.
"But we had a lot of players with niggles coming into this tournament. A lot of those niggles were picked up during the IPL. We lose contact with our players during IPL because they are connected to and responsible to their franchise.
"The players take a lot of pride in playing for their franchises but the bottom line is the amount of cricket didn't play into our hands.
"The next World Twenty20 is only something like nine months away and we're keen to start setting up our plans and strategies.
"We got it wrong in this tournament and we need to go forward from that."
Kirsten's side play South Africa in a dead rubber today and the coach wants to reward his side's fan with a winning result.
"We would like to convey to all the Indian people that we are bitterly disappointed. I saw 15 faces in the dressing room yesterday and I saw some real hurt," he said.
"We have to put up a performance against South Africa that the Indian people can be proud of."
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