Virat Kohli and Indian selector MSK Prasad do not seem to be on the same page with regards to the World Cup squad as the latter believes that the Indian Premier League will have an impact on the team picked for the quadrennial event.
Unlike captain Kohli, Prasad believes that the IPL will not deter the players' confidence, on the contrary, it will only help them. In an interaction on India Today's panel discussion on Friday, Prasad said that the IPL puts forth various pressure situations which are complex in its solutions. He added that this will help the players much more than any bilateral series would. He used the 2013 and 2017 editions of the Champions Trophy as meat for his argument.
India won the 2013 edition of the tournament and finished runners up in 2017. Both the tournaments were held in England, the venue for the 2019 World Cup.
"I have a different view (on the IPL debate). IPL is an Indian international tournament which offers so many complex pressure situations. Rather than sitting and training, you will have to go through so many pressure situations be it with the batting, bowling or fielding. This IPL offers a competitive atmosphere. If you see the example of 2013 and 2017 Champions Trophy, we did exceedingly well because we had IPL prior to that. It will only help our players which otherwise a normal bilateral series will definitely not offer. It is just four overs (for bowlers) but it is important how to keep themselves fit other than that," Prasad said.
Kohli, though, said that judging players on the IPL would be "very, very radical" and went on to say that performances in the franchise league would have no impact on the World Cup squad.
"No, I don't see the IPL having any influence on World Cup selection. I think that will be very, very radical sort of analysis," the Indian captain said on the eve of the first ODI. "We need to have a solid team. Before we head into the IPL, we need to be absolutely clear of what team we want for the World Cup. I don't see anything changing on how the IPL goes for any of the players," he added.
The 30-year-old had earlier warned his players from picking up bad habits during the IPL. He did not want them to stray too far away from the ODI mould of batting and lose momentum by trying different things in the nets during the practice sessions with their respective franchises.
"All the people who are going to be part of the World Cup squad, they have to make sure that their games don't go too much away from the one-day mould of things. That means we will have to be very wary of the bad habits that might creep in during the IPL."
The IPL will begin on March 23 and is expected to be over by May 19 giving the Indian team approximately three weeks before their first match at the World Cup against South Africa on June 5.