Ranji Trophy 2018-19: Alarm over workload of pacers after Tushar Deshpande's injury recurs

Without getting into the club game debate, Mumbai chief selector Ajit Agarkar lamented the “bad timing” of Deshpande’s injury.

Tushar Deshpande is unlikely to recover for four weeks and the Mumbai Cricket Association has requested for rehab to be carried out at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

When Tushar Deshpande played a Purshottam Shield match for Parsee Gymkhana early this month, not only did he break down with a right hamstring injury, but his appearance surprised the team management and selectors alike. That the injury recurred on the opening day of Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy game against Gujarat despite Deshpande missing the last match versus Karnataka has raised alarms over the workload management of bowlers.

However, head coach Vinayak Samant isn’t convinced about asking Ranji regulars to skip club games. “It doesn’t work that way. Whenever a Ranji player makes a comeback, he wants to play for his club. I was strict that he (Deshpande) should not play, but somehow he went on to play,” Samant said.

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“It (injury) can happen in Ranji too. We are concerned that there should be no overload for bowlers but a bowler like Tushar, we have to push him to rest. He is a dum waala (energetic) bowler. Even with the old ball or on a dull pitch, he wants to bowl with the same attitude.”

He is unlikely to recover for four weeks and the Mumbai Cricket Association has requested for rehab to be carried out at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.

Without getting into the club game debate, chief selector Ajit Agarkar lamented the “bad timing” of Deshpande’s injury. “Wrong time to get injured, not just for the team but himself as well,” said Agarkar.

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“Having a tough last season, coming back and doing so well in the one-dayers, then taking wickets at Karnail Singh (the venue versus Railways) which is a difficult ground to bowl at, it’s just one of those things. But he is still young. If you have to look at a silver lining, it’s better to get these injuries early on than later in your career,” he added.

“With the kind of effort he puts into his bowling there could be injuries later on as well. I don’t want to blame club cricket, because it may have happened in practice as well.”