Former Indian cricketer and World Cup champion Gautam Gambhir feels that the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) must keep a careful eye on the workload of players who play for India across all forms. With the ODI World Cup set to take place this year, Gambhir wants the management to prioritise ODIs over T20Is for those players.
Before the ODI World Cup, India is likely to compete in the World Test Championship in June. Australia and India are the strong candidates to reach the event’s finals, and many of the senior players will be there as well. With many bilateral series and tournaments on the horizon for India, Gambhir feels that the players should prepare ahead of time and, if necessary, take a break for T20Is to concentrate on the ODIs.
“If they want to take a sabbatical, those who play more than three forms, they may probably take a break from T20 cricket, but surely not from the ODI format. They were able to play together. “I believe the greatest error Indian cricket has made in the previous two World Cups is that these players haven’t played enough cricket together,” Gambhir stated on Star Sports.
Gambhir was opposed to the players having a break for the ODIs. He feels players can manage their workload by resting during the T20Is, which are not a priority for the time being. Due to injury, two crucial players, Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja, were unable to compete in the T20 World Cup 2022. The two will return this year, but their ailments have long been a source of anxiety for India.
“How many times have we had the greatest playing 11 on the field? We haven’t; only at the World Cup did we resolve to field the best playing 11, but that was never the case. So, regardless of whether they want to take a vacation from the T20 or the IPL, these men must play enough white ball cricket, particularly for the 50 overs World Cup together. But the break must take place in the T20 format, not the 50-over format,” he stressed.
The Indian players will soon be competing in the Indian Premier League, which would mean back-to-back cricket for the Indian squad. Gambhir said that the board must guarantee that the players play more for the national team, even if it means losing one of their top players.
“If the franchise must suffer, they must suffer. The key shareholder is Indian cricket, not the IPL. IPL is really a byproduct. So, if India wins the World Cup, it will get a larger applause and a larger ring. For example, if a key player misses an IPL game, so be it; the IPL occurs every year, but the World Cup occurs just once every four years. So, in my opinion, winning the World Cup is considerably more significant than winning the IPL,” he said.