Around the same time, pacer Navdeep Saini too missed Delhi’s Ranji Trophy game against Hyderabad, citing that he had “been asked to rest”. On Tuesday, it emerged that India’s Test opener Mayank Agarwal will miss Karnataka’s Ranji Trophy match against Mumbai, which begins at the MCA BKC Complex from Friday.
TOI has learnt that Iyer, Dube and Agarwal were all “advised rest” by the “medical team of the Indian team,” which comprises physio Nitin Patel and trainer Nick Webb.
“Team India’s medical team of the Indian team monitors the workload of all the players in the side. Iyer and Dube were asked to rest as per its advice. Mayank has played two games so far, but he needs to rest a bit now because then he will leave with the India A team for New Zealand on January 10. Whenever a player is asked to rest from domestic games, skipper Virat Kohli, coach Ravi Shastri and chief selector MSK Prasad are informed about it,” said a reliable source in the board.
“It’s important to manage the workload of all the India players, so that they’re fresh and fit when they play for India. Sometimes, in this period when they’re asked to rest, they’re supposed to just train for a week and not play any cricket. There is so much non-stop cricket these days that workload management is paramount,” he explained. “The medical team maintains a database of all the players, their injuries and matches played.” he added.
However, there is an argument that the India players’ missing the Ranji Trophy despite being available to play devalues India’s biggest domestic tournament. There was also the case of pacer Jasprit Bumrah, first being asked by the selectors to play for Gujarat in the Ranji Trophy against Kerala in Surat but then being told to pull out by BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, a fact that got the attention of the legendary Sunil Gavaskar who wrote in a column that he hoped that it would be an exception.
“It’s not that all India players have stopped playing in the Ranji Trophy. In New Zealand, Mayank will be playing in both the limited-overs and the four-day first-class games. Ajinkya Rahane and Prithvi Shaw are playing for Mumbai. KL Rahul played in both the Vijay Hazare and Mushtaq Ali Trophy for Karnataka. At a time when you have IPL, T20 cricket and the India A tours, you have to give players sufficient time to recuperate and stay fresh,” he stressed.