Sunil Gavaskar has been outspoken in his criticism of India’s World Cup-bound players’ regular break periods.
As the World Cup draws closer, the Indian cricket team faces the daunting task of ending a decade-long drought without an ICC limited-overs trophy. The last time they lifted an ICC trophy was in June 2013, when MS Dhoni captained the team to a historic Champions Trophy victory in England, making them the only team to win all major ICC tournaments.
Since then, India has won numerous bilateral series worldwide but has yet to replicate that success in major tournaments such as the World Cup and the Champions Trophy. Despite coming close on several occasions, including semi-finalists in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2022 World Cups and runners-up in the 2017 Champions Trophy, India has yet to clinch an ICC trophy. The team’s recent loss in the final of the inaugural World Test Championship has only added to the pressure to end this prolonged trophy drought.
The Indian team will have to put forth their best efforts to achieve this long-awaited victory, but with the current rise in player injuries, the task may prove even more challenging. The BCCI’s focus on workload management has led to the frequent resting of players, but with the World Cup being a crucial tournament, the team will need to strike a balance between player management and their performance on the field. As the countdown to the World Cup begins, cricket fans across India eagerly await the team’s performance, hoping that this will finally be the year that they break the dry spell and bring home an ICC trophy.
India enters the World Cup as hosts, giving them a fantastic chance to break their ten-year drought. However, one challenge they will face is the increase in accidents. Team India is in a battle against time, as Rishabh Pant is almost certainly out of the World Cup, and Jasprit Bumrah’s rehabilitation has no set timetable. According to reports, the BCCI has told the IPL franchises to keep a close watch on the players selected for the World Cup, including Rohit Sharma, to better take care of their players by managing their responsibilities. India’s skipper is prone to injuries. When a reporter questioned Mumbai Indians coach Mark Boucher about possibly resting their captain, the former South African kept his mouth shut, suggesting otherwise.
Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar responded favorably to Boucher’s candid analysis, saying the B word shouldn’t be used while playing T20 cricket. “It was heartening to hear Mark Boucher, the coach of the Mumbai Indians, dismiss the workload argument by claiming that a 20-over-a-side contest isn’t a heavy burden. There was a lot of talk about exhaustion just before the 2008 IPL season began, initiated by a players’ organization, as the great writer wrote in his Mid-Day piece.
Sunil Gavaskar, the former Indian cricket captain, has been quite vocal about his disagreement with the Indian cricket team’s decision to rest their players before the World Cup. Gavaskar recently criticized Rohit Sharma, the Indian cricket team captain, for missing the first One Day International (ODI) against Australia due to his brother-in-law’s wedding. He stated that it was unacceptable to have a captain who was not present for every match, especially not when it comes to the World Cup.
Gavaskar’s comments have sparked a debate among cricket enthusiasts, with many questioning the Indian team’s approach toward workload management. While some believe that players must be well-rested and given time off to avoid injuries, others argue that missing crucial matches, significantly ahead of a primary World Cup, could harm the team’s performance. It remains to be seen how the Indian cricket team will manage their players’ workload and injuries ahead of the World Cup and whether Gavaskar’s criticism will impact the team’s decisions.
Gavaskar has again opened up the debate between the IPL and playing for India. He has expressed that players do not hesitate to miss the IPL for rest and workload management purposes but are less inclined to do so when representing their country internationally. According to Gavaskar, players have become more focused on the lucrative earnings and opportunities the IPL provides, affecting their mindset toward defining the Indian cricket team.
Gavaskar has also raised concerns over the current generation of cricketers, who, in his opinion, have a pampered mindset and use workload management as a convenient excuse to avoid playing for their country. He believes that the players prioritize their physical fitness and personal interests over representing their nation, which should be their top priority. The former India batter has further suggested that the players’ attitudes have shifted over the years. They are now more concerned about their performances and earnings than the success of the Indian team.