The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to rotate 20 shortlisted players as part of its roadmap for the World Cup at home later this year.
At a review meeting of India’s performance in 2022, it was decided to prioritise international cricket while laying stress on the World Test Championship and the World Cup. India have not won an ICC tournament since 2013.
The circumstances that led to the debacle in the T20 World Cup semi-final and their failure to reach the final of the Asia Cup were looked into since the Board wants to ensure there are no loopholes in the quest for success.
The meeting, held at Trident Hotel, Nariman Point, Mumbai, was attended by head coach Rahul Dravid, National Cricket Academy (NCA) head VVS Laxman, outgoing selection committee chairman Chetan Sharma and Board secretary Jay Shah. Captain Rohit Sharma, who is holidaying in Maldives, and BCCI president Roger Binny joined the meeting virtually.
VVS Laxman. File picture
“It was a constructive meeting. The focus was on the way forward and the ODI World Cup,” a source told The Telegraph.
Players’ fitness and workload management dominated the discussions. Binny has stressed on the need to get to the root of the players’ frequent breakdown before important tournaments.
“The Yo-Yo Test and Dexa (scan) will now be part of selection criteria and implemented in the customised roadmaps of the central pool of players,” the Board said in a statement.
While Yo-Yo tests are done to test the level of fitness of the players, Dexa scan is used to reveal the extent of a player’s recovery from injury. It is used to determine the bone strength and bone mineral density of a player and his vulnerability to a recurrence on return. It also shows how much the dynamics of the injured player have changed since his recovery and rehab.
Yo-Yo tests were considered compulsory when Ravi Shastri was the head coach but why and how it was discarded subsequently remains a mystery. The effects have shown in the players’ declining fielding standards.
Even though 20 players have been shortlisted, the selectors can consider a player for selection if he has performed well in the domestic circuit.
The workloads of key players will be monitored during IPL 2023 by the NCA “in tandem” with the IPL franchises. The plan to get the NCA to work with the franchises will be part of the entire process. It remains to be seen if a franchise agrees to give a certain player a break when told by the NCA.
Among the other recommendations, emerging players would “have to play substantial” amount of domestic cricket before being considered eligible for selection to the national team.