Hyderabad: Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli had said before the beginning of IPL that ‘workload management’ was important for the Indian players who will be part of the World Cup, but most of them have played almost all the matches in the T20 league.
There are three weeks before the start of the World Cup campaign. Therefore, fatigue cannot be an issue for the two-time champions. However, fans would like to know how fast bowlers perform.
The Indian captain had indicated before the start of the tournament, if any player flet that they needed to rest, they could do so by keeping the World Cup in mind.
Kohli had said before the IPL’s opening match, “If I play 10, 12 and 15 matches, it does not mean some other player can play as many matches too. My body will probably allow a certain number of matches to play; so, I should be smart and take rest beyond that.”’
That was easy to say but it is imperative that the IPL franchisees demanded everything from their star players, and it happened.
Captain Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Lokesh Rahul, Mohammed Shami, Yuswendra Chahal, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav played all their 14 league matches at the IPL.
Vijay Shankar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar played 15 matches while Shikhar Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya and Jaspreet Bumrah will have played 16 matches by the end of Sunday. Mahendra Singh Dhoni played 15 matches, including the finals.
The player who played less than 10 matches was Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav, who was excluded from the KKR management due to his poor form in nine games.
As far as others are concerned, Dhoni cannot play two matches because of the problem with his back while Rohit remains unfit for a match. Ravindra Jadeja did not play a match while Kedar Jadhav was eliminated from the tournament after suffering a shoulder injury in the final league match.
It was a good thing for India that its main players escaped injuries while injuries are quite likely in such a long tournament. South African pace spearhead Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada, who are now struggling to pass the fitness test for the World Cup. They are busy working hard to get fit.
Kohli had said before the IPL began, everybody wanted to play in the World Cup; so, people should be smart about managing the workload before it.
At the same time, a batsman like Rahul used the IPL to get into the best form before the World Cup but workload management is the biggest concern for fast bowlers.
Indian vice-captain Rohit Sharma said before the IPL final that they talked about the management of workload at the beginning of the tournament. He said in Jaspreet Bumrah’s case, it was a player who wanted to play all the matches so that he could be sure that he was in good rhythm. “We also asked him if he needed rest,” Rohit said.
The captain of Mumbai Indians said, “If anybody plays in IPL and then plays a big tournament like the World Cup, I think they are in rhythm. This is a good tournament to get to form. Hardik (Pandya) is an example of this.” He added, “It was an injury before the IPL; he was away from some matches for India, but now he is doing so well for us.”