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Rohit on player workloads during IPL: 'Up to the franchises now'

India captain says the team management has given the IPL franchises some instructions about workloads

Deivarayan Muthu
23-Mar-2023
India's team management has given the IPL franchises some broad guidelines about workload management for players, according to Rohit Sharma, but he expressed doubts about whether they would be followed by the teams.
IPL 2023 kicks off March 31, less than ten days after the ODI series against Australia, which India lost 1-2 in Chennai on Wednesday. India's World Test Championship final against Australia begins on June 7 in London, a little more than a week after the IPL final on May 28.
"I mean, it's all up to the franchises now," Rohit said after the third ODI against Australia in Chennai. "The franchises own them [the players] now, so we've given some indications or some kind of borderline kind of thing to the teams. But at the end of the day it's up to the franchise and, most importantly it's the players you know, they have to take care of their own body.
"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."
Shreyas Iyer, Kolkata Knight Riders' designated captain, is a doubtful starter for at least the first half of the IPL because of a recurrence of a back injury.
Iyer, 28, first experienced discomfort in his lower back last December, immediately after the Bangladesh tour. He then missed the ODI series against New Zealand at home and the first Test against Australia.
He returned to play the second and third Tests of the Australia series. However, the back pain resurfaced during the final Test in Ahmedabad, where Iyer did not bat in India's only innings in the match after having fielded for the first two days.
With fast bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Prasidh Krishna also facing long recoveries from injury, Rohit was concerned by India's mounting injury list.
"Look, yeah, it is concerning because … we are missing the players who are actually playing XI players, you know … they regularly play in the playing XI," Rohit said. "But honestly, everyone's trying their best to get everyone on the path, we've been focusing a lot on management of the players, which is why you keep seeing we have to rest certain players at certain point in time.
"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.
"Players are frustrated as well. They want to play they don't want to miss out. So yeah, I mean it is a little sad, but at the end of the day, you cannot really do too much. 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 you know the injury happened to him. And there's nothing you could do about it, and I mean, 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."

Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo