Jasprit Bumrah’s injury before the 2022 T20 World Cup sent the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and other relevant bodies into panic mode before the WTC final and other tournaments.
The BCCI has a pool of twenty (20) players selected for the ODI World Cup scheduled to take place later this year. Players in the shortlist will feature across formats in a rotational pattern while the board monitors their workload.
After the three-hour meeting, the BCCI President, NCA Chief, India Head Coach, and other stakeholders agreed on a suitable roadmap.
The 20-man shortlist isn’t rigid, as players with consistent performance in domestic tournaments can still get a call-up. NCA officials will give a green light about the player’s fitness and performance before he gets consideration for a national call-up.
How Injuries Affected Indian Cricket in 2022
Jasprit Bumrah was absent at the T20 Cricket World Cup 2022 due to a sudden injury. The cricketer and other essential players in India’s national team like Washington Sundar, Deepak Chahar, and Ravindra Jadeja were also on the sidelines throughout last year’s tournament.
India crashed out of the World Cup knockout stages in Australia, and many commentators fingered injuries as a major cause of the shock exit. The Men in Blue continue their hunt for an ICC title after a decade-long drought and must avoid an injury crisis this year.
Fans were livid at the cricket board and other official organizations for not doing enough to prevent player injuries. A source within the Indian cricket structure commented on India’s 2022 performance and strategies for the 2023 calendar year:
“The Board reviewed the performances in 2022 and also discussed the road ahead. There were no specific discussions on change in personnel…It was a very constructive meeting where we reviewed the past performance and planned for the future events… the priority will be the WTC fixtures and the team management will ensure that the workload of the players is managed well”
The outcry for action against massive player injuries prompted a different approach to improve match fitness levels for international players.
BCCI’s Workload Management Plan for the WTC Final and Other Competitions
The BCCI and National Cricket Academy (NCA) are collaborating with players in their 20-man shortlist for the ODI World Cup and other important cricket tournaments.
Officials from the BCCI have made a statement about policies and tests to maximize player fitness, while the NCA implements these policies. All IPL franchises are part of this collaboration to ensure all players selected to feature in India’s national team avoid long-running injuries.
IPL players like Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, and Mohammad Shami currently receive close monitoring while featuring for their teams.
Monitoring also covers selected all-rounders and pacers to reduce their overall workload and avoid surprise injuries close to important finals like the WTC. Workload management isn’t the only approach to preventing sudden player injuries as the BCCI is bringing back a reliable testing regime.
Yo-Yo Testing Makes a Comeback
The BCCI has decided to bring back Yo-Yo testing, a once mandatory test under Ravi Shastri and skipper Virat Kohli. The test was not in use for about two years, but the BCCI’s statement rekindles its importance to India’s success this year.
Several concerns over player fitness prompted the BCCI to bring back the no-compromise policy. The BCCI also mandates players under monitoring to go through a Dexa scan. These scans show images that measure bone strength and density, allowing inspectors to see heightened risk of injuries beforehand.
The combination of these processes aims to strengthen India’s national cricket team for a very busy 2023.
Internal Team Preparations Ahead of the WTC Final
The WTC final will take place from June 7 to 11, 2023 in London, England. Several IPL players are scheduled to take part in the final if India defeats Australia and clinches the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Captain Rohit Sharma believes overseas bowlers like Shardul Thakur could prove pivotal to the team’s chances of winning an ICC title after a decade-long wait. The skipper also doesn’t want to get ahead of himself and take India’s progress to the final one match at a time:
“Shardul Thakur comes into the planning for us. We don’t know how ready he is (or) how many overs he has bowled. But that thought process is there (Thakur’s experience as a professional bowler overseas)…If we get the result we want, we might think of doing something different … but we are not there yet. We have to win this game and then talk about it
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