Chennai: Indian captain Rohit Sharma stated that the workload management of players during IPL 2023 is up to the franchises now, though he also admitted about being unsure of it despite the team management giving some indications to all ten franchises in the competition.
IPL 2023 starts from March 31 and will end on May 28. For the Indian players, including Rohit himself, they will have very little turnaround time as the World Test Championship final against Australia begins from June 7 at The Oval in London.
"I mean, it's all up to the franchises now. The franchises own them (players) now, so we've given some indications or some kind of borderline kind of a thing to the teams. But at the end of the day, it's up to the franchise and, most importantly, it's the players, they have to take care of their own body."
"They (players) are all adults. So, they have to look after their body and just if they feel that it's getting a little too much, they can always talk about it and have a break in one or two games. I doubt (if) that will happen," said Rohit in the post-match press conference after India lost the third ODI to Australia by 21 runs in Chennai, losing the series 1-2.
Rohit also conceded that he was worried by India's injury list, which has seen multiple players breaking down last year. Some of them like Jasprit Bumrah, Prasidh Krishna, Rishabh Pant and more recently, Shreyas Iyer, are on long road to recoveries from their respective injuries, thus putting them in a race against time to be fit and available for ODI World Cup, to be held in India in October-November.
"Look, it is concerning because we are missing the players who are actually playing eleven players; they regularly play in the playing eleven. But honestly, everyone's trying their best to get everyone on the path, we've been focusing a lot on management of the players, which is why you keep seeing we have to rest certain players at certain point in time," Rohit said.
"From our side, we can do our best in handling them. But I am not a specialist in telling why recurring injuries are happening. Our medical team is definitely looking into all of this and come the World Cup, we will have our best 15 players ready.
"Obviously when you play so much cricket injuries are bound to happen. So not looking too much into it. What's available to you, what's in your hand, you can control that, and we are just trying to control all of that," he said.
Iyer was pulled out midway from India's fourth Test against Australia at Ahmedabad due to recurrence of a lower back injury. He was subsequently ruled out of the ODIs against Australia and is now a huge doubt for the IPL, where he captains Kolkata Knight Riders.
"Players are frustrated as well. They want to play and they don't want to miss out. So, I mean it is a little sad, but at the end of the day, you cannot really do too much. I can see, and I can vouch for it, that the people working behind the scenes are working really hard with all these layers and freakish injuries can happen at any point in time, like Shreyas (Iyer) was the best example," said Rohit.
"He was sitting the whole day and he just went to take a knock. And you know the injury happened to him. There's nothing you could do about it, and I mean, the only thing we can keep in mind is managing players and giving them enough breaks. And I think from our side we're doing that," he added.