The rising number of injury concerns that has plagued Indian cricket in the last year hit another low when three players, including captain Rohit Sharma, were ruled out of the 3rd ODI against Bangladesh. Besides Rohit’s dislocated thumb, fast bowlers Kuldeep Sen and Deepak Chahar were the other two casualties. Kuldeep, who made his India debut in the first ODI complained of a stuff back, while Chahar injured his hammy. This is the third time that Chahar has broken down this year. Add to that the Mohammed Shami’s roughed up shoulder and the long absence of Ravindra Jadeja and Jasprit Bumrah due to their respective injuries and it is evident that Indian players are struggling with major fitness issues now more than ever.
That India haven’t been able to field their strongest Playing XI due to this reason has impacted their performance. They failed to reach the final of the Asia Cup, got knocked out of the World Cup in the semifinal with a one-sided defeat to England and the latest being an ODI series defeat to 7th-ranked team Bangladesh. It’s pandemonium all around in Indian cricket 10 months before a home World Cup and it is this frustration that forced Rohit to break his silence over Indian players and their struggle with injuries after Bangladesh won the second ODI to seal the series.
Also Read – ‘Half-fit players playing for country…’: Frustrated Rohit Sharma’s stern warning to NCA after injury sweeps Team India
“I mean there are definitely a few injury concerns. We need to try and get to the bottom of it. I don’t know what exactly it is. Maybe they’re playing too much cricket. We need to try and monitor those guys, because it’s important to understand when they come for India, they need to be a 100 percent, in fact more than a 100 percent,” Rohit said after the match.
“It’s something we have to look at. We have to sit with our team back home at the NCA as well and try and monitor their workload. That is something we need to look at. We can’t afford guys coming in here half-fit and representing the country. There’s huge pride and honour in representing the country and if they’re not fit enough, it’s not ideal. Having said that, we just need to get to the bottom of it and find out what exactly is the reason behind this.”
Reacting to the statement, former India World Cup-winning all-rounder Madan Lal agreed with Rohit’s assessment and pointed out that if the captain is making such strong comments, it in a way sums up the poor state of fitness. Lal targetted the NCA, where players undergo rehabilitation before making a comeback into the team, and its trainers urging the BCCI to identify the rut.
“It is a very sad thing. If the captain is saying this then something is wrong somewhere. Who is responsible for this? Are trainers responsible for this? Why are unfit players going? You are playing international cricket and the result is in front of you. If they want to take rest, they can take rest during IPL matches. Your country comes first. If you are not going to win ICC trophies, your nation’s cricket is going to go down.”
Injuries aside, Lal feels that the Indian team is currently cutting an extremely sorry figure – a stark contrast to their dominating self in last five-odd years. The former all-rounder reckons the current Indian team is lacking motivation and has observed a clear lack of intensity and passion, which could be due to the guys playing non-stop cricket one series after the other.
“Definitely the Indian team is not going in the right direction. I have not seen the intensity in the team off late. I have not seen ‘Josh’ in them in the last couple of years. They are not looking like an Indian team at all. That passion of playing for the country is missing. Either their bodies are too tired or they are just going through the motions. And this is a serious concern,” he mentioned.
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