India captain Rohit Sharma revealed that the team management has decided to provide some Duke balls to its fast bowlers so that they can practice with them as and when there’s time, during the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The initiative, Rohit said, has been done keeping the World Test Championship final (WTC) in mind. Soon after the three-match ODI against Australia ends next week, the players will join their respective franchises for the IPL, beginning on March 31.
But to make sure that those who will be part of the India squad for the WTC final against Australia at The Oval in London from June 7 are in good shape, the team management will constantly monitor the workload.
Efforts will also be taken to send a few players early to the UK so that they can get accustomed to the conditions and prepare better. “I believe in preparation and it is going to be the key for us ahead of the final. Around May 21st, there will be six teams who would possibly be out of the IPL. So, whichever players are available, we will try and find some time to see if they can reach the UK as early as possible and get some time there. We will monitor what happens after that,” the India captain said on Monday.
The last time India featured in the WTC final - against New Zealand in 2021 - the team went down to the Kane Williamson-led side. This time around, the Indian team wants to be particular about the workload of each player and handle situations accordingly.
“It’s quite critical for us. We will be in constant touch with our players, who are going to be part of the WTC final and monitor their workload. In fact, we are sending some Duke balls to all the fast bowlers as well, if they get some time to bowl with that.
But again, it all depends on the individuals, and it’s not that the guys who are going to be part of the WTC finals are not the guys who have not played in the UK,” Rohit said.
“Maybe, one or two guys are there, but the rest all have played in that part of the world. I don’t think it’s going to be a huge problem…”
Despite the fourth Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy ending in a draw, India was through to the WTC final following New Zealand’s nervy win against Sri Lanka in Christchurch.
To make it to the WTC final, Sri Lanka needed a 2-0 win over New Zealand, but as the Islanders went down to the Kiwis despite a thrilling contest, India surged ahead, riding on its points percentage (PCT) advantage (60.25).
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