India vice-captain Rohit Sharma believes the policy of rotating personnel has been introduced to ensure that players remain "more than 100% fit" during the course of a cramped calendar. The players' workload remains an ongoing conversation given the quantum of cricket India are playing in the immediate future: from September to December, they play 23 internationals - three Tests, 11 ODIs and nine T20Is - against Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.
Soon after the Sri Lanka series winds down, India are scheduled to tour South Africa for four Tests, five ODIs and three T20Is in January and February 2018. There are then two demanding tours to England and Australia later in 2018. Rohit acknowledged such hectic schedules were an intrinsic part of the modern game, and that it was down to the player to service himself.
"We all are used to tight schedules and so much cricket being played. It is not happening now, it has been happening for a while," Rohit said during a promotional event in Chennai. "We understand how to take care of our body. We have specific people like doctor, physio, trainer… all of those who will take care of it and give us the right schedule.
"Which is why there is lots of rotation happening. We have to make sure we need guys who are more than 100% fit. Which is why we have the rotation policy going on, keeping in mind the tight schedule. To me, cricketers have limited career. So we have to make the most of the time we have. So no excuses of burnout or being on tight schedule. We have to play as much we may have to."
R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja had been rested for the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka and the first three ODIs against Australia in accordance with the new policy. Ashwin has been allowed to play county cricket for Worcestershire during the period, to get him acclimatised to English conditions ahead of India's tour next year.
While Rohit said that it was up to the individual to find the right way to manage his schedule, he was personally not for taking a break from playing. Rohit had missed the bulk of India's home season last year, including the Test series against England and Australia, with a thigh injury. He said he wanted to get as much game time under his belt as possible.
"It is up to each individual how he wants to do it," Rohit said. "I like to follow the schedule being given to us starting from the diet. If we follow that, I am sure we would be fine. It has helped us. I am coming from an injury layoff so I don't see myself doing that [resting]. I want to play as many games as possible. Whenever there is an opportunity I want to be on the field."