Former India strength and conditioning coach, Ramji Srinivasan has given his opinions and suggestions on how player workload should be managed.
Srinivasan played a vital part in the 2011 50-over World Cup where he looked after the fitness of players like MS Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, and others.
Recently, the Indian team is facing a lot of injuries because of which the BCCI is looking after each player’s workload management per series.
In the future, we will be looking at a young and fresh T20I side but still, the likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Ravindra Jadeja will be expected to feature in both ODIs and T20Is.
Srinivasan’s comments on player workload management
This question has been lingering around for a lot of time. Picking specialists for each format is a call that has to be taken by the selectors and the coaching staff. But if the selectors decide that a player is going to feature in all three formats, it is the duty of the strength and conditioning coach to keep the player fit. There is nothing wrong in players featuring in all three formats. Don’t forget, 10 years ago, you had MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Irfan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan featuring in all three formats. Players understood their body and were smart enough to know what worked for them. And they shouldn’t follow what an S&C says blindly. They should ask questions.
Adding further he says,
Playing three formats is an evolution of the game and as far as fitness goes, everything is possible. But for that, testing, screening, training, plan & travel and diet schedule have to be finalised accordingly. There will be players who are equipped to play all three formats and only skill should determine it, not fitness. If there is an all-format player, he has to be trained accordingly. And as a player ages, one has to factor in that as well. Virat Kohli can’t be following the same process now that he was doing four years ago.
India’s recent string of injuries this year
Starting with the T20 World Cup this year, India did not have the services of Ravindra Jadeja and Jasprit Bumrah because both of them were harboring injuries of their own.
Now, to make matters even worse, Deepak Chahar and Rohit Sharma injured themselves in the ODI series against Bangladesh.
Mohammed Shami damaged his shoulder even before the series started.
That’s why India needs to have all their top players ready as another World Cup year is approaching in a matter of months.
Which is why Srinivasan has given good suggestions, starting with open communication and accountability.
Srinivasan’s suggestions on how to train a player to play all three formats of cricket
You need to have an open line of communication between all the trainers- Indian team, Ranji Trophy, IPL or India A- and work in tandem. Too much information can also cause problems. A set protocol has to be in place for testing, screening and methodology in training.
Srinivasan adds further,
After every IPL, it is common to see players gaining weight, fatigue, mental fatigue because of tension and travel. Someone has to take responsibility for the fitness of a player. This has to start from the Under-14 level. Setting up the process, template for a fitness programme is essential, or else we are just going to be shooting in the dark.
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