Comebacks & Breakdowns: Recurring injuries prevent core team creation

By Chetan Sharma

New Delhi, Dec 10 (IANS): With less than 12 months to go for the ODI World Cup, teams must be having a clear picture in mind of players who would feature in the playing XI, however, Team India is still in the process of testing players who would form the part of the side in the marquee event

The biggest reason for not having a core team is the players, who are constantly falling prey to injuries.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Friday informed that India's skipper Rohit Sharma has flown to Mumbai for specialist consultation and will miss the final ODI against Bangladesh. This comes after Rohit suffered a blow to his thumb in the second over while fielding in the 2nd ODI. Meanwhile, a call on his availability for the upcoming Test series will be taken later.

Fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah, who was ruled out of the T20 World Cup in October is on road to recovery. India missed Bumrah's services badly in the recently concluded showpiece event.

The major question here is whether the injuries are the direct result of burnout or whether the players have prioritised everything but their fitness in the last few months.

Every week one or the other player is getting injured. The BCCI on Saturday said fast bowler Kuldeep Sen complained of stiffness in his back after the first ODI against Bangladesh.

"The BCCI Medical Team assessed him, and he was advised to rest from the 2nd ODI. Kuldeep has been diagnosed with a stress injury and is ruled out of the series," a statement from the Board read.

Meanwhile, fellow fast bowler Deepak Chahar sustained a left hamstring strain during the 2nd ODI and was also ruled out of the Bangladesh series. Both Kuldeep and Deepak will now report to NCA for further management of their injuries.

To manage the balance of the squad, the All-India Senior Selection Committee has added Kuldeep Yadav to India's squad for the third and final ODI.

While this comes as an opportunity for Kuldeep, it also disbalances the combination since the team was already persisting with Washington Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal for handling the spin duties.

This has become a major roadblock in the team's success in the recent past with players playing one or two matches and then getting injured which inturn breaks the momentum and forces changes into the squad.

Moreover, India's star all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja last played for the side in August 2022. With players regularly getting injured the BCCI needs to strategically plan the game time the players would be having ahead of the ODI World Cup.

Questions need to be asked from the National Cricket Academy (NCA) as Indian cricket is suffering from many recurring injuries. There are many examples in recent times, when a player gets injured, goes to the NCA for rehab, gets fit, makes a comeback and breaks down after just two three-matches.

Now going into the showpiece event, India will want to have played with the core team at least for the last six months but that will only happen if the players are strategically managed and have been taken care of.



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