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India skipper Rohit Sharma said on Wednesday said that managing the workload of key Indian players during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 is up to the franchises.
Indian team management has given the IPL teams "some borderline indications" about player workload management, as per the skipper, but he is doubtful if the franchises will follow it.
IPL 2023 starts from March 31 onwards, less than 10 days after the conclusion of India's ODI series against Australia at home, which the latter has won by 2-1. The all-important ICC World Test Championship final starts from June 7 onwards, a little more than a week after the summit clash for the IPL trophy on May 28. The 50-over World Cup will also take place in India from October-November this year.
"I mean, it is all up to the franchises now. The franchises own them [the players] now, so we have given some indications or some kind of borderline kind of thing to the teams. But at the end of the day, it is up to the franchise and, most importantly it is the players you know, they have to take care of their own body," Rohit said as quoted by ESPNCricinfo after the third ODI against Australia in Chennai.
"They [players] are all adults. So they have to look after their body and just if they feel that it is getting a little too much, they can always talk about it and have a break in one or two games. I doubt [if] that will happen but," added the skipper.
The Indian team is currently dealing with a lot of injuries. Rishabh Pant is ruled out for this year after surviving a horrific car accident last year. Shreyas Iyer, the Kolkata Knight Riders skipper is also likely to miss the first half of IPL due to a recurring back injury that he first experienced immediately after the Bangladesh tour last year in December. The injury has troubled him since then, keeping him out of the New Zealand white-ball series at home, the first Test against Australia. After playing the second and third Tests, the pain resurfaced in the final Test at Ahmedabad and he did not come out to bat in India's only innings during the game.
With fast bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah and Prasidh Krishna facing long recovery times from their injuries, Rohit is concerned by the mounting list of injuries that his side is facing.
"Look, yeah, it is concerning because ... we are missing the players who are actually playing XI players, you know ... they regularly play in the playing XI. But honestly, everyone is trying their best to get everyone on the path, we have been focusing a lot on the management of the players, which is why you keep seeing we have to rest certain players at a certain point in time."
"Obviously when you play so much cricket injuries are bound to happen. So not looking too much into it... what is available to you, what's in your hand, you can control that, and we are just trying to control all of that."
"Players are frustrated as well. They want to play they do not want to miss out. So yeah, I mean it is a little sad, but at the end of the day, you cannot really do too much. I can see, and I can vouch for it, that the people working behind the scenes are working really hard with all these layers and freakish injury can happen at any point in time, like Shreyas [Iyer] was the best example.
He was sitting the whole day and he just went to take a knock. And you know the injury happened to him. And there is nothing you could do about it, and I mean, the only thing we can keep in mind is managing players and giving them enough breaks. And I think from our side we are doing that," concluded Sharma. (ANI)