Star players Hardik Pandya and Shubman Gill are likely to be rested for the upcoming three-match T20I series against Ireland, scheduled to kick off next month, according to PTI sources within the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The potential resting of Pandya and Gill is primarily aimed at workload management, with the highly anticipated Asia Cup and ODI World Cup on the horizon. The decision comes as the BCCI aims to ensure that key players are in peak form and fitness for these crucial tournaments.
“Nothing is finalised yet and it will also depend on how Hardik is feeling after the one-dayers and T20s in the West Indies. There is travelling involved and only a short turnaround of three days before one flies from Florida to Dublin. With World Cup being of primary importance, one has to factor in his workload. Let’s not forget he will be Rohit’s deputy in the World Cup,” a BCCI source told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
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Given that Suryakumar Yadav serves as the vice-captain of India’s T20I team, he will step in as the leader if Hardik is given a rest for the upcoming series. Suryakumar, a right-handed batsman, showcased his captaincy skills during IPL 2023 as the skipper of Mumbai Indians. Consequently, there’s a high possibility that he might make his international captaincy debut next month
Pandya’s Role as India’s T20I Captain and All-Round Performer
Hardik Pandya, the 29-year-old all-rounder, has been leading India in the T20I format in recent series, showcasing remarkable performances on the field. His consistent contributions with both bat and ball have made him an indispensable member of India’s ODI team, providing the much-needed balance to the side.
Youthful Squad Expected for Ireland Tour
Given the likelihood of a young squad being sent to Ireland, Pandya was expected to captain the side once again. However, with the rest on the cards, the team management and national selection panel will have to carefully consider the leadership situation for the series.
Workload Concerns Amidst Back-to-Back Tours
A BCCI source revealed that while nothing has been finalized yet, Pandya’s workload will be taken into account, especially considering the tight schedule with back-to-back tours. The demanding itinerary includes a series against the West Indies in the Caribbean and the United States before the Ireland tour.
Preparations for World Cup and Responsibilities as Rohit’s Deputy
As the ODI World Cup takes precedence, Pandya’s role as Rohit Sharma’s deputy in the tournament further adds to the importance of managing his workload efficiently. The BCCI aims to keep Pandya fresh and injury-free for the high-stakes event.
Challenging Itinerary and Travel Considerations
The white-ball leg of the West Indies tour will see Pandya in action for eight matches over just 18 days in multiple Caribbean nations and the United States. The potential travel from the USA to Ireland and then to India before the Asia Cup in Colombo raises concerns about the immense workload.
A Comprehensive Approach Workload management not only encompasses matches played but also factors in training sessions, monitoring the duration of batting, and the number of overs bowled. Such meticulous tracking is essential to ensure players remain fit and at their best throughout the season.
Leadership Conundrum for Ireland Series
In the absence of Pandya, the India team faces an intriguing decision regarding the leadership role for the Ireland T20I series. Selecting the right captain to lead the young side will be crucial to maintain the team’s performance levels during the tour.
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