We have told the players to look after their bodies during IPL 2023: Rohit Sharma
With the World Test Championship final scheduled soon after the IPL ends, there is an extra emphasis on getting the workload management right
The Chennai Super Kings play their opening fixture at Ahmedabad on March 31. Then, until May 6 they are constantly on the move.
After playing Gujarat Titans in the tournament opener, they fly back to Chennai to play Lucknow Super Giants (April 3), their next game is against Mumbai Indians in Mumbai (April 8) before heading back to Chennai for a match against Rajasthan Royals (April 12). Neighbouring Bengaluru is the next pit stop (April 17) before returning home for April 21’s game against Sunrisers Hyderabad. The next day they have to reach Kolkata to play Kolkata Knight Riders before heading off to Jaipur to take on Rajasthan Royals on April 27. Two days later, they have to be in Chennai to play Punjab Kings on April 30. From there, CSK head to Lucknow to play LSG on May 4.
Numerous fitness experts have admitted that managing fatigue is the biggest challenge for them in the IPL. And with the World Test Championship final between India and Australia scheduled within 10 days of the final of the Indian Premier League, there is an extra emphasis on getting the workload management right.
India captain Rohit Sharma said they are banking on the IPL team’s fitness staff to look after the internationals. “After the last ODI (against Australia), we had a long chat with the boys. We have told them to look after their bodies when they go to play for their respective franchises. It is up to the franchises, their physios and trainers and medical teams how to handle their players. They are adults and they know how to manage the entire situation and come back fresh for the final (WTC),” said Rohit, during Mumbai Indians’ media interaction on Wednesday.
On how difficult it is to cope given the travel, Rohit said the players are used to the routine. “Through the years, IPL has been played on a home and away basis, except for the last three years when we were held up at one place. I am sure, all the teams and players are used to these kinds of fixtures, one game at home and travel for the next one.”
Taking short breaks will be ideal but whether the teams can afford to give players that will depend on how well they are doing. Then again, if the player is himself searching for form, he would not like to sit out.
It will help if Rohit, the captain of the Mumbai Indians side, himself sets the example by resting for the odd game. Asked whether he plans to do that, he passed it on for MI coach Mark Butcher to take the call. “He is the captain. Hopefully, he gets into some good form and hopefully, he doesn’t want to rest. We will adapt to whatever the situation is. If I can get the best out of him as a captain and as a player, if it means giving him some rest for that, then I’ll do that. No problem,” said Boucher.
Though, for the former South African wicket-keeper T20 cricket is not demanding enough for workload issues to arise. “Fifteen years ago, we wouldn’t have been having this conversation. Test cricket and One-day cricket is tough on the body. T20 cricket is short, so we shouldn’t be talking about workloads.”