Nasser Hussain has revealed that the widely coveted IPL helps to learn and be as a finishing school for the top-cricketers around the world. On top of that, Hussain credited the IPL experienced as influential factor in Ben Stokes’ Headingley innings and his World Cup heroics last year.
The Indian premier T20 tournament, IPL has widely been considered as a learning school, where talents flock to showcase their skills. In the past, talents such as Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant have found a place in the national team, thanks to their performance in the tournament. However, former England skipper, Nasser Hussain admitted that the two-month-long tournament helps a cricketer learn and become a finished product. He also added that it helps the world-cricketers to play on varying pitches and conditions - be it rank-turners or drier pitches.
"IPL isn't a learning school, it's a finishing school. It finishes you off as a cricketer, those bits that are missing, like playing spin on drier pitches, it helps you learn that and finishes you off as a cricketer," he told Cricbuzz.
"But you cannot argue that when you go and play in the IPL, you're playing against the best players. You look at all those team sheets, they are like a World XI. Because they are playing in that big crowd, it helps you handle pressure,” he added.
On the other hand, Nasser hailed the importance of the tournament in shaping the way English cricketer Ben Stokes plays the game. He revealed that after the 2016 World Cup, thanks to the IPL experience, it helped the English all-rounder in two of the most memorable and important games around the world last year in cricket. Stokes, in just his first season of the IPL, emerged as the MVP of the tournament, with 300+ runs and vital contribution with the ball.
"The two innings that Ben Stokes played in the 2019 summer, at Headingley and in the World Cup final... In Headingley, he went into IPL mode when batting with Jack Leach. Some of the shots he played, like the reverse switch hit into the Western Terrace off Lyon, he can't play that unless he's played in the IPL. Also the World Cup final innings. He can't handle that pressure unless you've been in the pressurized cauldron before," Nasser concluded.