According to a report, Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma may choose which matches he plays in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) to manage his workload ahead of the national team’s marquee engagements later in the year, including the ICC World Test Championship Final against Australia in June and the ICC World Cup in October-November. In Rohit’s absence, star batter Suryakumar Yadav is expected to take over as MI captain.
Following India’s ODI series against Australia, Rohit stressed the importance of taking a break between IPL matches to stay fresh and fit. According to The Indian Express, the Indian captain will now lead by example, and while the Mumbai skipper may not appear in all of the IPL matches this year, he will remain with the team and provide input to stand-in skipper Suryakumar.
“It’s now up to the franchises.” They are now owned by franchises. We’ve given some hints to the teams, but in the end, it’s up to the franchise and, most importantly, the players. They must look after their own bodies. “They are all adults,” Rohit told reporters after India’s March 22 loss to Australia in Chennai.
“If they feel it’s getting a little too much, they can always talk about it and take a break in one or two games,” Rohit suggested.
India are already dealing with injuries to two key players in Shreyas Iyer and Jasprit Bumrah.
The 28-year-old batsman Iyer’s back problem worsened during the final Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test against Australia, limiting his participation in the match. He is now expected to undergo surgery and be out for at least five months, ruling him out of contention for the ICC WTC Final and putting his participation in the ICC World Cup in doubt.
Star pacer Bumrah, on the other hand, has been out with a back injury since September 2022. He has, however, had surgery in New Zealand and is said to be doing well. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has made it clear that Bumrah’s full recovery and career extension are its top priorities, and the pacer will not be rushed back into action just yet. According to reports, all other stakeholders, including his IPL franchise Mumbai Indians, the BCCI, the Indian team management, and physios, are on the same page on this issue. Bumrah is a proven match-winner whose presence is essential if India is to win the ICC World Cup for the third time.
In this situation, India can’t afford another injury scare, and Rohit, who has had injury issues in the past, doesn’t want to put his body through the rigours of playing every IPL match. The T20 competition is a marathon affair that will require extensive travel across the country, so workload management will be critical.