In his own inimitable way, Shastri said what many within the cricket fraternity, and outside of it, feel.
“IPL is one of the greatest leagues in the world, and it’s also one of the greatest physios in the world, because, before the IPL auction everyone wants to get fit, because everyone wants to play in the IPL,” Shastri said during a press conference organised by Star Sports, the official broadcaster of IPL 2022.
The 15th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) gets underway with a match between Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday.
Shastri is returning to the commentary box after a seven-year absence. He will however be a part of the hindi commentary team, something he has not been associated with in the past.
Shastri, who was serving as the India head coach till last year’s T20 World Cup, said he could not do commentary because of “a stupid clause that binds us”.
This edition of the tournament will see 10 teams in action, with the addition of Gujarat Titans and Lucknow Super Giants.
All the league stage matches will be played in three venues of Mumbai and one in Pune.
“All these three pitches (in Mumbai venues) are red soil pitches so you get to know how they behave very quickly, you will get similar pitches in the three venues of Mumbai,” he said.
Shastri and Suresh Raina will be part of the elite commentary panel of Star Sports for the upcoming IPL.
Meanwhile, Raina said he sees, among others, leading all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja as a possible successor to the legendary MS Dhoni at Chennai Super Kings, where the southpaw established himself as one of IPL’s greatest performers.
“Rayudu is there, DJ Bravo is there, Jadeja has got a very good cricketing brain, Uthappa is there…”
Both Shastri and Raina were asked if young players coming into the tournament with big price tags puts tem under pressure.
“It’s very important to forget the money part, back to the basics and start from square one… it’s easier said than done. But you must start from scratch, give attention to detail, and here the captain becomes the big man. He can absorb the pressure and a smart captain would do that,” Shastri said.
Raina said, “It matters a lot to those young players who come with a huge price tag. He needs to be very grounded and only focus on the process.”