Indian team’s growing injury list is “concerning” but captain Rohit Sharma doubts any player will opt out of the IPL games to manage workload when the high-profile T20 league begins on March 31.
From Jasprit Bumrah to Shreyas Iyer, the number of injured national team players is mounting, and Rohit said the onus is on the IPL franchise owners and players themselves to manage workload ahead of the ODI World Cup the country is hosting in October-November.
“It is concerning. We are missing the players who are actually the playing XI players,” Rohit said after India lost the third ODI against Australia by 21 runs on Wednesday to concede the series 1-2.
“They (players) are all adults. So they have to look after their body and just if they feel that it’s 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…,” the captain said without mincing words.
Following the IPL, which ends on May 28, the Indian players will get little over a week to get ready for the World Test Championships final to be played at the Oval in London from June 7.
Rohit said the Indian team management has given “indications” to the IPL franchise owners about workload management of the players, keeping the 50-over showpiece in mind.
“It’s all up to the franchises now. The franchises own them (the players) now, so we’ve given some indications or some kind of borderline kind of thing to the teams.
“At the end of the day it’s up to the franchise and, most importantly it’s the players, they have to take care of their own body.”
While India missed the services of Bumrah for the entire bilateral series against Australia, Iyer’s back injury resurfaced during the fourth and final Test in Ahmedabad and he missed the subsequent three ODIs.
“Honestly, everyone is trying their best to get everyone on the park. We’ve been focusing a lot on management of the players, which is why we have to rest certain players at certain point of time,” the captain said.
“From our side, we could do our best in terms of handling them. But, I am not a specialist to tell you why recurring injuries are happening. The medical team of ours is looking into all of this and making sure that, come the World Cup, we’ve got our best 15 players ready.”
Iyer first felt discomfort on his lower back last December and then missed the ODI series against New Zealand at home and the opening Test against Australia.
Iyer, who captains Kolkata Knight Riders, is likely to miss some games of the IPL due to the recurring injury.
“Obviously when you play so much cricket injuries are bound to happen. So not looking too much into it … what’s available to you, what’s in your hand, you can control that, and we are just trying to control all of that,” Rohit said.
“Players are frustrated as well. They want to play, they don’t want to miss out. So it’s a little sad, but at the end of the day, you cannot really do too much.”
Rohit said the medical team is doing everything possible to ensure the well being of the players.
“I can see, and I can vouch for it, that the people working behind the scenes are working really hard with all these players, 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 the injury happened to him. And there’s nothing you could do about it, the only thing we can keep in mind is managing players and giving them enough breaks. And I think from our side we’re doing that.”