Mumbai: The Indian team management has expressed concerns over what it perceives as lack of preparation for the World Test Championship (WTC) final to be played at The Oval from June 7. The Indian Express understands that the team’s support staff have individually spoken to players and checked their fitness status. They also wanted to know whether the selected Indian players had managed to practice with the red ball during the Indian Premier League.
However, players have expressed their helplessness and communicated that they haven’t been getting adequate time to do separate sessions to prepare for the marquee Test against Australia.
The bowlers were also asked whether they have increased their load in the month of May. Before the IPL began on March 30, the team management had asked players not to put too heavy a load on their bodies to start with. The bowlers, especially, were asked to increase their load in May by sending down longer spells in the nets keeping in mind the preparation for the WTC final.
The team management felt that as the WTC showdown will be a 90-overs-a-day match and players will have to stand for six hours in the field, their bodies should get used to it.
In their feedback and replies, the Indian bowlers informed the team’s support staff that as they are travelling every third day during the IPL, they aren’t getting enough time for their bodies to recover. An overload on their body means there could be a chance of breakdown and injuries.
The Indian team has already seen a few players ruled out of the clash against the Aussies. KL Rahul is out injured while Rishabh Pant and Jasprit Bumrah are also unavailable. Umesh Yadav and Jaydev Unadkat got injured during the IPL. Yadav has since regained fitness and Unadkat is likely to be fit as the players and the coaching and support staff fly out in three batches to England.
Before the IPL, India captain Rohit Sharma had said that they will be sending red balls to all fast bowlers, and they should bowl with them if they get time, but again it all depends on the individuals.
After the ODI series against Australia that preceded the IPL, Rohit had stressed that it was up to the players to keep themselves fit for national duty while turning out for their franchises in the IPL.
“It’s quite critical for us. We are going to keep in constant touch with all the players who are going to play that (WTC) final and monitor their workload and see what’s happening with them,” Sharma had said then.
No warm-up game
There is a chance of India not playing a warm-up game before the WTC final. This is because most of the players won’t be available as they will be playing for their respective franchises. The IPL final will be held on May 28. The only player currently getting decent match practice with the red ball is Cheteshwar Pujara, who is currently playing for Sussex in the English County Championship.