Jadeja, Yadav set to skip first two weeks of IPL

The directive has come from the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI's) medical team at the end of a prolonged season of Test cricket at home.

Gujarat Lions player Ravindra Jadeja will be out of action for the first two weeks of IPL.   -  K. Murali Kumar

Umesh Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja have been advised to skip the first two weeks of the Indian Premier League's (IPL's) tenth edition. The directive has come from the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI's) medical team at the end of a prolonged season of Test cricket at home.

While the all-rounder Jadeja featured – and excelled in – all of India's 13 Test matches at home, speedster Yadav missed a solitary Test. At the end of the gruelling season, Indian team's medical staff – led by physiotherapist Patrick Farhart – assessed all the players. Based on that, the pace sensation and the all-rounder have been asked to skip a fortnight of the IPL.

While Yadav is the pace spearhead for Kolkata Knight Riders, Jadeja is the vital cog for his home team Gujarat Lions.

Though the BCCI directive is a severe jolt for respective teams, it is a welcome move to avoid player burnouts for international assignments. It was evident earlier in the decade that some players have stretched themselves on in the IPL despite being half-fit and thus missed out on international assignments.

According to a BCCI official, this directive will set a benchmark in place for the players keeping the international assignments on top of the agenda. He conceded that since India's title defence at the Champions Trophy is due to start in less than two weeks after the IPL final, the team management, the players and the BCCI are taking all due care to ensure the top players remain fully fit when the Indian team boards a flight to England towards the end of May.

While Jadeja was in sublime touch with the bat and the ball, the icing was him toppling fellow spinner R. Ashwin in bowlers’ world rankings. He was also adjudged the Man of the Series of the recently-concluded series against Australia.

Yadav, despite spin-friendly conditions for a majority of Test matches, emerged as the leading pacer, finishing the season as India's third-highest wicket-taker behind Ashwin and Jadeja.