'Spate of injuries is a huge concern'

BCCI secretary Jagdale stresses on the need for better management

Although newcomers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shami Ahmed have earned plaudits in a short duration at the international level, an important concern that is bogging the Indian team management is the frequent breakdown of the pace bowlers.

Almost every top pace bowler, including the likes of Umesh Yadav, Zaheer Khan, is tending to various injuries, severly testing the bench strength of the pace department.

“It is an issue of huge concern,” BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale told reporters at the National Cricket Academy here on Tuesday. “It was one of the main points of discussion in today’s meeting. Injury management was one of the heavily discussed subjects.”

Jagdale, NCA chairman Ranjib Biswal, BCCI chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty, India team support staff including coach Duncan Fletcher and bowling coach Joe Dawes, India ‘A’ and junior India teams’ support staff held a one-day meeting along with Selection Committee chairman Sandeep Patil with the focus on how to establish a smooth transition of players from the NCA to India ‘A’ to the senior team.

Simultaneously, a three-day camp for 18 bowlers (both pacers and spinners), who had done well in the just-concluded Ranji Trophy, concluded under the watchful eyes of Fletcher, Dawes and Patil. “At times the coaches and the support staff are not in a position to see those who have done well (in domestic  cricket). We wanted the top brass to see the ones who have done well in this domestic season. Basically, we are trying to create a pool of cricketers and selected players so that the support staff and coaches can have a look at them.”

When asked if such a camp for the fringe players will be held regularly, Jagdale said that is what the BCCI has planned to do. “It will be held on regular basis. Australia are coming here next month and we intend to play them in practice games. Also, we’ll get them to bowl to the Indian team during net sessions so that they can stay motivated. We want to encourage them and give them better exposure too.”

On reports that suggested that the BCCI was keen on hiring a spin coach, Jagdale said the governing body is yet to take a call on that but the ‘matter is under consideration’.

Jagdale also failed to commit on when a new director for the NCA will be appointed after Patil relinquished the post following his appointment as chairman of selectors last September. “We are having a look at the NCA also and we will decide after a while. Right now we have a chairman (Ranjib Biswal), who is settling into his job.”

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