The WTC final will be played from June 7 at the Oval, right after the IPL final which is scheduled to be held on May 28
With IPL going back to its original home and away model for the first time since post COVID-19 outbreak, there will be a lot of travelling involved and among all the current India Test regulars, only Cheteshwar Pujara is not a part of IPL.
“It’s quite critical for us. We are going to keep in constant touch with all the players who are going to play that final and monitor their workload and see what’s happening with them,” Sharma replied to a query from PTI at a press conference after India won the series against Australia 2-1 in Ahmedabad.
“Around 21st May, there will be six teams who will be possibly out of IPL play-off contention and so whichever players are available, we will try and find time to get them to UK early as possible and get some time and we will monitor as much as possible,” the skipper gave a sneak peek into his plans for the big final.
The three frontline pacers Mohammed Siraj (RCB), Mohammed Shami (Gujarat Titans), Umesh Yadav (KKR) are expected to be first-team regulars for their respective franchises and play at least 12 out of 14 group league games and monitoring their workload will be important.
“In fact, we are sending some (red) Duke Balls to all fast bowlers and if they get some time to bowl with that but again it all depends on individuals,” Rohit said.
In England, Tests are played with Duke balls unlike SG Tests in India and the Kookaburra in Australia.
How much time a Shami, Umesh or Siraj can find out from their travelling, matches and busy schedule is there to be seen.
But England isn’t an alien place for most of the Test squad members as they have all played multiple series there and some of them have also played county cricket.
“Guys who will be part of finals are not the guys who have not played in the UK. May be there could be one or two guys here and there and rest all of us have played in that part of the world. I don’t think it will be a huge problem.
“Look, I believe that preparations will be key for us, come the finals.”
‘Final at the Oval will be different ball game’
While both teams have played a lot of cricket in England, the neutral venue will make it a completely different proposition for both sides.
“Speaking of playing them (Australia) in the finals, it will be a different ball game with neutral venue for both teams.”
“Both teams have played lot of cricket in that part of the world and I won’t say it will be alien conditions for both teams but yes, compared to what it is like playing India in India or Australia in Australia, it is not going to be like that, it would be slightly different from that which I am sure both teams will prepare for it,” the captain said.
(With inputs from PTI)