IPL 2019: World Cup has been a distraction for players, says Hussey

Chennai Super Kings batting coach Michael Hussey reveals it is tough to rest M.S. Dhoni as he wants to be part of all the matches.

Mike Hussey and Ravindra Jadeja have a chat during a practice session. (FILE IMAGE)

Mike Hussey and Ravindra Jadeja have a chat during a practice session ahead of the match against Mumbai Indians.   -  B.Jothi Ramalingam

The workload of World Cup-bound players has been a talking point of Indian Premier League 2019. Chennai Super Kings batting coach Michael Hussey admits that it has been a distraction but highlighted how the high-pressure league is a great stage to acquire the right mindset for the big-ticket event.

“I think it has been a challenge [to ensure the players are in the right frame of mind and body] throughout the tournament. A number of players had the World Cup in their mind. But we told them to concentrate as much as they can here and in due course of time, the World Cup will come around,” he said on the eve of CSK’s home fixture against Mumbai Indians.

Hussey feels it is better to be charged up rather than take things easy. “The players are in high-pressure situations against quality oppositions. The cricket is tough. But if you can play with intensity, the jump to the World Cup will be smaller. If you take it easy here, the jump will be higher. It applies not just to our franchise but across the board. It can be a distraction at times, but we have to deal with it,” said the former Australia World Cup winner.

CSK skipper and India wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni has struggled with back spasms. Keeping the packed calendar in mind, the 37-year-old sat out in the away fixture against Sunrisers Hyderabad. But as far as Hussey’s knowledge, it is hard to keep Dhoni out of IPL games.

“What I know about him is that he doesn’t want to miss any matches. He loves playing for CSK and this place is very close to his heart. Trying to get him to rest is very difficult. We will have to wait and see, but he is pretty keen to play. He is smart about it. There is a big focus on rest and recovery at the moment. Our physio has been working hard to keep players fit and fresh. The momentum should be upwards leading to the playoffs. We want the guys to be consistent.”

The Jadhav lull

India No 6 Kedar Jadhav did not have a great outing in the IPL but Hussey defended his case. “We rate Kedar Jadhav very highly and his is a difficult position to bat down the order. You come in at a pressure situation and you don’t have many balls to bat. We would like to show faith in our players and keep backing them.”

Jadhav hasn't bowled his off-breaks in the IPL. It will perhaps balance out the  workload leading to the World Cup.

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