Former India head coach Ravi Shastri has hit out at the injury management of some of the country’s premier bowlers, saying they seem to have become “permanent residents” of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) while undergoing rehabilitation.
While Shastri didn’t take any name, his obvious reference was Chennai Super Kings seamer Deepak Chahar, who has broken down at least thrice in match situations in the last eight months after being declared fit by the Nitin Patel-headed sports science & medical team at the NCA.
“Let’s put it this way: there are quite a few in the last three or four years who are permanent residents of the NCA. Soon, they’ll get a resident permit there to walk in any time they want, which is not a good thing at all. It’s unreal,” Shastri said sarcastically on ESPNCricinfo’s digital platform.
Chahar is struggling due to recurrence of his left hamstring injury while tearaway quicks Jasprit Bumrah and Prasidh Krishna have undergone surgeries in New Zealand for lower back stress fracture.
Shastri, who was India’s head coach as recently as October 2021, is surprised that some of these bowlers don’t even play all formats but are yet not fit enough to bowl four overs across four T20 games on the trot.
“Come on, you’re not playing that much cricket to be injured again and again,” Shastri said.
“I mean, you can’t play four matches on the trot. What are you going to the NCA for? If you are going to come back and then three matches (later) you’re back there (NCA),” he asked.
He urged the players going for rehabilitation to at least try to be fit enough so that no one is wasting their time and money.
“So, you make sure you get fit and come once and for all because it’s damn frustrating. Not just for the team, the players, the BCCI, the captains of the various (IPL) franchises. It’s annoying, to say the least.”
His next comment was a direct reference to Chahar.
“I can understand a serious injury, but every four games when someone touches his hamstring or someone touches his groin, you start thinking what are these guys… what are they training, what’s going on?
“And some of them don’t play any other cricket in the year. It’s just four overs (in the IPL), man, three hours. The game is over.”
Shastri feels MI skipper Rohit Sharma’s return to form augurs well for five-time champions. “Rohit Sharma brilliantly soaked the pressure against Delhi. He led the side from the front,” Shastri told Star Sports.