Shane Bond: Increased workload for Champion Trophy a challenge for bowlers

The Mumbai Indians coach and former New Zealand fast bowler says bowlers used to the Indian Premier League will have to adjust to the higher stamina required for Champions Trophy.

Shane Bond says players will be relieved to get away from India’s summer heat.   -  Sandeep Saxena

Usually overworked, top international bowlers will head into next month’s Champions Trophy without enduring enough workload as the condensed schedule of the IPL has denied them regular net sessions, feels former New Zealand pacer Shane Bond.

Writing in a column for the International Cricket Council (CC), Bond said the hectic travel schedule for the IPL leaves little time for regular net sessions. He feels bowlers coming off the event will face the challenge of adjusting to increased workload in the Champions Trophy. “Because of the condensed schedules in the IPL, and the heat and the travel, the bowlers haven’t been bowling a lot in the nets,” he wrote.

“Going into the ICC Champions Trophy, where the top bowlers will be expected to bowl their quota of 10 overs, [it] will pose a unique kind of challenge in terms of the bowlers not having had enough of a workload. It is important that it is not just your skills that are up to speed, you need to have had miles in the legs as well,” he explained.

Bond said players will need to make a few rapid changes in terms of both adjustment and attitude when they switch from the 20-over format to the 50-over one. “There are a couple of things that will be different in England and Wales from the IPL. One is, of course, the heat, and going from India to the UK will be a bit of a relief,” he said.

“The other, obviously, is time on the feet - from an hour-and-a-half to three-and-a-half hours. All the players have been training and are in good shape physically, so this adjustment shouldn’t be particularly demanding, but the issue of bowling workloads is another matter altogether,” he added.

As for batsmen, Bond, who is a coach with Mumbai Indians, said they too will have to adapt to certain changes. “Rohit Sharma has been batting in the middle-order for us and Aaron Finch for Gujarat Lions, and both of them will need to re-adjust to playing the new ball, in English conditions, when they open the batting for their respective countries,” he reasoned.

“There will be a couple of subtle differences, and I am sure these experienced guys are equipped enough to cope with those requirements.”

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