The national selectors met on Thursday to decide on the roster for the two-Test series against New Zealand, and it is understood that one of the crucial decisions made was to rest some key players, including Rohit Sharma. The move is in line with the current Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) consideration of allowing pauses to reduce workload impact and bubble fatigue among the players.
Apart from Rohit, who was recently chosen captain of the Twenty20 team, the selectors have rested Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, and Rishabh Pant. The two pacers have already been rested for the three-match T20 series against New Zealand, and they will be given even more time off for the Test matches. The goal is to guarantee that they arrive in South Africa in good shape. Virat Kohli has already been allowed a rest for the three T20Is and the first Test.
In the absence of Kohli and Rohit, Ajinkya Rahane, the current Test vice-captain, will lead India in the first Test, which will be held in Kanpur from November 25 to 29. The decision is in line with the BCCI’s new policy of giving players who have been on the road for over six months a rest during the regular breaks. Players like Bumrah have already expressed their exhaustion.
“You’re in desperate need of a rest. After 6 months on the road, you start to miss your family. All of this lingers in the back of your mind from time to time. When you’re on the field, however, you don’t have time to think about all of that. After India’s recent setback to New Zealand in the T20 World Cup in the UAE, the India captain stated, “You don’t control all of those things, the scheduling and all, and what tournament is played when.”
The appointment of Rahul Dravid as head coach of the national team has sparked some new ideas, and the former captain, who has been overseeing player rehab and injuries as the head of the National Cricket Academy for the past three years, is said to be adamant that the players be protected from fatigue and workload. He believes that the players require regular breaks in order to be effective.