Be smart and responsible and stay fit. That is Virat Kohli’s parting mantra to his teammates after the Australia series as the Men in Blue now head to their respective franchisees for the Indian Premier League 2019.
There being no respite or rest for the Indian players between the just-concluded home series against Australia and the ICC World Cup in England and Wales starting from May 30, the skipper has tipped his players to stay fit during the Indian Premier League.
The IPL Season 12 is scheduled to start from March 23. With less than 10 days to go for the season opener between defending champions Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore, the players will get little time to overcome the fatigue and niggles of the long season. They will also need to maintain their optimum fitness for the ICC World Cup 2019, where India are tipped the firm favourites to win their third title.
There have been talks about World Cup-bound Indian players load management during the IPL. However, the BCCI and the team owners are not on the same page in this regard. Stakes being really high, the franchisees will like to put their best XI at any given opportunity. The IPL teams have so far also not received any guidelines on players’ workload management.
Kohli in such a scenario has called upon his players to be smart and be responsible about their fitness while playing the IPL 2019.
“We have given the responsibility to the player, to be smart and inform the respective franchises and be in touch with the physio of the Indian team (Patrick Farhart). So all the things will be monitored during the IPL. Given a window where guys can afford to rest, they will take that opportunity, I can guarantee that,” Kohli said.
“World Cup comes every four years and we play IPL every year (not to say that we won’t be committed to playing the IPL) but we have to be smart and make smart decisions. That’s a factor that’s been discussed.”
“No one will be forced to do something but eventually, everyone knows that no one wants to miss the bus for the World Cup.”
India would seek to preserve its quality assets like Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.
India have been playing non-stop cricket since the fag end of the last year when they toured Australia, New Zealand.