New Delhi: Considering the heavy workload of the Indian players in a calendar year across formats, the team management has been very particular about giving them break from time to time. If Hardik Pandya was rested for the limited overs series against the West Indies, Jasprit Bumrah was given a break from the just-concluded Twenty20 International series against South Africa. Under Virat Kohli, workload management is one of the key areas of focus of the Indian team.
Kohli has time and again made it clear that for the boys to give their best on the field, it is important to not overburden them. The captain himself also likes to take breaks on and off. In fact, he even toyed with the idea of taking a break during the Indian Premier League to stay fresh for the ICC World Cup in May.
With the 2020 World T20 now in focus, things won't be any different and that has been evident in the way the team management has been handling the fast bowling unit after the World Cup. While Bumrah is expected to be a certainty for the WT20, he wasn't played either against the West Indies or against South Africa.
Using players sparingly is what seems to be Kohli's moto with focus on the big tournaments. Commenting on Bumrah, Kohli had made this clear.
"That's probably the most important thing for us right now, managing workload of players. That's why he (Bumrah) didn't play any white-ball cricket after the World Cup because we wanted him to be fresh for the Tests. He is going to be a key factor for us as long as the Test Championship continues. We know how good a bowler he is. And the impact he can make in a spell," he had said in the West Indies.
Speaking about managing the workload, Hardik Pandya had told IANS that the rest after the World Cup was crucial for him.
"It was important for me (the break) as the IPL was long and then the World Cup followed and I had a good run in both the tournaments. So, I was looking to give it my best and that required my body to take some rest as precaution is better than cure and that is when the call was taken by the team management that I come back fully fit for the South Africa series.
"Neither the team management nor I wish that I get injured. The rest has helped me a lot and my fitness has gone to the next level. I started doing pilates and that has helped me a lot. This isn't something very usual between cricketers. So, that is why I wanted to see how it works and it has worked really well. This last one month, I trained twice a day. It was important that I try something new to improve my back. It was important for me and my game to take this break," Pandya said.
With Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri more than happy to experiment going into the World T20, this pattern of resting players on and off to manage their workload is here to stay.