January 28, 2023

India captain Rohit Sharma has expressed his displeasure at players who have been injured repeatedly despite being fit. He hopes that the National Cricket Academy, the body that monitors and rehabilitates injured players, can “get to the bottom of it” quickly.

India has been plagued with injuries to several patrons throughout the year. Deepak Chahar and Washington Sundar, who are part of the Bangladesh tour, were among those who spent long periods in NCA rehab.

Then there’s speed star Jasprit Bumrah, who according to chief selector Chetan Sharma was “rushed back” from a back injury in an attempt to get ready for the T20 World Cup which he ended up missing due to a stress reaction in his back. Bumrah has not played any form of cricket since September and no firm timelines are available for his recovery.

“I mean, there are definitely some injury concerns,” Rohit said after India’s five-point loss that gave Bangladesh a 2-0 lead on Wednesday. Incidentally, Rohit himself is under a fitness cloud after a dislocation in his finger while handling the second ODI.

“We have to try to get to the bottom of it. I don’t know what it is exactly. Maybe they play too much cricket. We have to try and keep an eye on those guys because it’s important to understand when they come for India, they must be 100%, more than 100% in fact.”

On Wednesday, India was without the services of fast bowler Kuldeep Sen, who retired with a stiff back after his debut in the series opener. Chahar also managed to bowl just three overs due to a suspected hamstring injury which forced him off the field. Although he returned to bat in India’s pursuit, the injury was serious enough to rule him out of the final ODI.

It was another blow to Chahar in what has been a forgettable year. In October, he complained of back stiffness after the first ODI against South Africa and was taken off India’s net bowling contingent for the T20 World Cup. He also missed the entire IPL season due to a back injury sustained while rehabilitating for a quadricep injury suffered in February.

At this time, players on the roster radar are being asked to report to the NCA for a fitness assessment, after which a detailed report will be submitted to team management. The trainer then draws up a workload management program for the players in consultation with the support staff.

If a player is injured, he will spend a prescribed time in rehabilitation after a detailed examination of the injury and its causes. The final step of their recovery includes a detailed assessment of their condition before they get a green signal.

“It’s something we need to look at,” Rohit said. “We also need to sit at home with our team at the NCA and try to control their workload. That’s something we need to look at. We can’t afford guys coming in here half fit and representing the country. There’s a huge amount of pride and honor to represent the country and if they’re not fit enough it’s not ideal. That said, we just need to get to the bottom of it and find out exactly what’s causing this.”

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