The workload of India’s key players, especially those with a history of injuries, will be monitored “in tandem” by the BCCI’s National Cricket Academy and IPL franchises during IPL 2023. This is in line with the BCCI’s new policy to manage players’ workload ahead of the 50-over World Cup in October and November and the World Test Championship final in June, if India qualifies for the same.
Other matters discussed were the team’s performance in 2022, including a Test series loss in South Africa, a fifth Test defeat in England (from the previous year’s unfinished series), a semi-final exit – with a ten-wicket loss to England From the T20 World Cup in Australia, and the recent ODI series loss in Bangladesh.
Rohit had said, ‘We have to try and get to the bottom of it.’ “I don’t know what it is exactly. Maybe they are playing too much cricket. We need to try and keep an eye on those guys because it is important to understand that when they come for India, So they need to be 100%, more than 100% in fact.”
The NCA medical team is understood to have come out with a roadmap on workload and injury management. As per the new plan, a fitness and workload roadmap will be customized for each central pool of players, and work has already started for the same.
Apart from the yo-yo tests, the NCA panel also recommended the addition of Dexa scans to add another “scientific layer” – in the words of a BCCI official – before determining whether players are fit to play. The DEXA scan is the international standard for measuring body composition and bone health – a ten-minute test that measures total body fat and includes an accurate breakdown of bone mass, adipose tissue and muscle mass in the body.
One of the other recommendations was that emerging players “must have played a substantial amount of domestic cricket” before being eligible for selection in the national team, a BCCI press statement said. The selectors believed that this would allow players to be available for all formats and not give priority to one over the other.
Another reason for the recommendation is to ensure that players are properly conditioned before entering the system. In the past, the selectors didn’t shy away from picking new players straight after a good IPL season. But with new players – like T Natarajan and Varun Chakravarthy, for example – missing more cricket than they have played in the last few years, due to injuries, treatment, rehabilitation etc. has been a cause for concern.