As the T20 World Cup is around the corner, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has requested all the franchises to rest key players in the IPL 2021 for the upcoming mega event. Notably, Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya didn’t feature in the all-important match against Chennai Super Kings and it was certainly not a coincidence.
And, as per InsideSport, it was BCCI’s request to Mumbai Indians and other franchises to “look after” the matter as well. Although Mumbai Indians said it was a team management’s decision, the story was much more than that as well. Mumbai Indians have 6 players who will play in the T20 World Cup and amongst them, five will surely be featured in the Playing XI as well.
As both Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah have recently featured in all the four-Test matches in England, they needed rest and their fitness too have come under the scanner. “Rohit Sharma is a key player in the World Cup and we don’t want to take any risk. Mumbai Indians did the right thing by resting him for the first match. He still has a bruise on his knee. We have advised both Rohit and Mumbai Indians to consider the World Cup as a priority and take adequate rest,” a senior BCCI official told InsideSport.
Mumbai Indians players in T20 World Cup squad:
While Jasprit Bumrah had bowled 151 overs in England during Tests, he has also batted for 25 overs in the series as well. As the speedster is prone to injuries, BCCI has advised Mumbai Indians and Bumrah not to take much pressure in the IPL and not risk any injuries also. And, to manage his workload, he could be rested in a few games as well.
“Bumrah has done well in terms of fitness. But obviously, he is a key player in not just World Cup but also the Test against New Zealand. He is eager to play all the matches in IPL but managing his workload will be crucial. We have advised Mumbai to consider that. But it is up to them to take a call. BCCI cannot force a franchise to rest a player if he is not carrying any injury,” the BCCI official further added.
On the other hand, BCCI is worried about Virat Kohli’s form too but as it is his last T20 tournament as the captain, the board has left the decision on him if he wants to take a rest or play to get back in his form.
“We (the franchise) keep India first. He’s keeping India first. The World Cup is scheduled after the IPL. Every single aspect of his workload will be managed from a precautionary POV keeping his Team India objectives in mind,” a source in Mumbai Indians said TOI.
“Virat’s fitness isn’t of any concern. He is one of the fittest players in the squad if the not fittest. He knows what needs to be done. As for his form, he knows it more than anyone else. If playing more matches gets him back in the form, we won’t have any problem. It is completely up to him,” another BCCI official has said to InsideSport.