New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor feels the suspension of the Indian Premier League (IPL) “played into India’s hands”, giving Virat Kohli’s team more time to get acclimatised to English conditions before next month’s World Test Championship final.
The IPL, which was suspended earlier this month after an increase in coronavirus cases among players and support staff, was due to finish on May 30, with the WTC final between New Zealand and India scheduled to start from June 18 in Southampton.
“For India, IPL finishing early under unfortunate circumstances has probably played into their hands a little,” Taylor told reporters on Sunday.
“If IPL would have gone on, they would have had a smaller preparation [time] but now they will be a lot more conditioned, their bowlers will have their loads up,” he added.
However, Taylor feels New Zealand will still have a slight advantage over India as it plays two Tests against England in the run-up to the WTC final.
“I would be lying if you think there isn’t some sort of thought about the WTC final but I couldn’t think of a better preparation than playing two Tests against England. At the end of the day, it’s a neutral venue.
“Playing two Tests gives us a slight advantage but this Indian team has been number one for a long period of time and has had a lot of success over here,” he added.
International cricket the pinnacle
Asked if he was concerned about the future of international cricket amid T20 leagues’ boom, Taylor said, “IPL is probably the most high-profile, and countries move it around when they don’t have the same power. It is what it is. The players want to play in it.
“I hope that international cricket still has relevance and priorities at times. As long as things are being moved around it is fine… as long as they aren’t getting cancelled and whatnot.”
The right-hander, who has featured in 195 Tests, 233 ODIs and 102 T20Is, said most cricketers would still consider international cricket the pinnacle.
“It’s changed a lot from when I started — IPL, the movement and players. We, as a team, weren’t able to play in the whole IPL. We played for only a couple of weeks.
“It’s a move for the good. But I hope international cricket is still the pinnacle, and I’m sure of it. You ask most of the international cricketers, and that’s the case.”