With the series already clinched, India may fancy resting a few of their regulars and trying out some options for the inconsequential third and final ODI against New Zealand in Indore on Tuesday.
In terms of batting, the team management has the option of drafting the talented Rajat Patidar in place of any of the established batters. Bringing in spinner all-rounder Shahbaz Ahmed for Washington Sundar and Umran Malik for either Mohammed Shami or Mohammed Siraj is also at India’s disposal.
The workload management of Shami and Siraj is one aspect India will have to take into account, especially with the four home Tests against Australia lined up next month.
“Workload management is something that’s a part and parcel of the game today. We keep reviewing these things,” head coach Rahul Dravid said on Monday.
“Injury management and workload management are two different things. We have to keep balancing the two based on what the priority is for us in the short term, considering the amount of cricket we play and ensuring that we have our big players available in the big tournaments.”
The “targeted” players for this year’s ODI World Cup will be playing the IPL as it will help them assess their T20 skills, Dravid stated. “If the players are injured or there are other concerns, then of course, I think the BCCI has the right to pull them out (of the IPL).
“But if they are fit, we do release them because the IPL’s an important tournament, in terms of our preparation for the 2024 T20 World Cup as well,” he explained.
Camp for Aus Tests
India’s Test players are slated to join a preparatory camp in Nagpur starting on February 2 ahead of the Australia series that begins on February 9. The camp clashes with the Ranji Trophy quarter finals beginning on January 31, but no squad member will be released for the last-eight stage of the domestic event.
“But when an opportunity presents itself where someone’s not playing and is required in the (Ranji) semi-final or final, we’ll certainly look at it,” Dravid stated.