Former New Zealand pacer Shane Bond said that it would be difficult to switch to ICC Champions Trophy mode after a month of playing Indian Premier League.
Donning the national colours after IPL 2017 for a majority of players will require rapid changes and adjustment, Bond wrote in a column for ICC.
The Champions Trophy will be played in England and Wales. The change in weather will be a relief for the players going from India to the UK, said Bond. But the major difference will be playing for three and a half hours in the 50-over cricket tournament. However he added that since players are already in training mode, the adjustment should not be a problem.
The bowlers will face trouble, according to Bond. He wrote, “Because of the condensed schedules in the IPL, and the heat and the travel, the bowlers haven’t been bowling a lot in the nets. Going into the ICC Champions Trophy, where the top bowlers will be expected to bowl their quota of 10 overs, will pose a unique kind of challenge in terms of the bowlers not having had enough of a workload. It is important that it is not just your skills that are up to speed, you need to have had miles in the legs as well.”
Bond feels that Indians will have a tough time adjusting to the change after a long home season, followed by the IPL. Australia also played the Test series in February and March, before the 20-over tournament. “They will desire a mental break of a couple of weeks going into the ICC Champions Trophy,” he said.
There is hardly a gap of ten days between the two tournaments.
Going into the Champions Trophy will be an advantage for Pakistan, who played and won a three-match Test series against West Indies. He said that the Pakistan bowlers ‘are in a good space in terms of value.’
Few batsmen will also face challenges due to change in roles. Rohit Sharma and Aaron Finch, he said, would need to get accustomed to played the new ball.
Bond added that the UK is a good place to play cricket as most of the travelling is by bus, which he feels is good for team spirit.
He feels that teams will enter the tournament with the philosophy of winning two games and carrying the momentum forward, which just might work for them as winning the first match is crucial.