'Responsibility is on players to manage IPL workload'

Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli with teammate Rohit Sharma during their 5th ODI match, at Feroz Shah Kotla Cricket Stadium in New Delhi on Wednesday. (PTI Photo)

In less than 10 days, Indian Premier League (IPL) will be knocking at the door for India cricketers and captain Virat Kohli made it clear the onus is on the players to be smart in managing the workload.

The first phase of IPL begins on March 23 and will be into the second week of May. The players will then regroup for the World Cup which begins on May 30 in England.

"All the workload will be monitored during the World Cup - and given a window, the guys can afford to rest. I can guarantee that because a World Cup comes every four years and we play IPL every year. Not to say we won't be committed to the IPL but we've got to be smart. We have to work in balance and take smart decisions. The responsibility and the onus is on the player. No-one will be forced to do something. Eventually everyone will know no-one wants to miss the World Cup and cost the team good balance,” Kohli said.

India has endured a long season and Kohli said he told his teammates to just enjoy the two months of IPL.

"Exactly what we spoke in the end in the change room was: 'just go and enjoy these two months in the IPL'. Don't think of performance pressure or I have to do this or do that. I think we deserve to really just enjoy our cricket and just go out there and play because of the joy of playing the sport,” he said.

"Being on the road for so many months does take a toll on you as a team. I'm not saying that's an excuse because you're expected to do that and be motivated to win every game you're playing for the country. When you have a long season you can always reflect on it. I am not someone who ever takes this as an excuse. If I'm not up to play a game mentally or physically, I'll inform the management before and I think everyone's responsible enough to do that.

"It's been a hectic season and we are proud of the season - happy with the way we've played, happy with the way guys have come around and shown their ability as players and confidence we've carried as a team. It's really great to see. From that point of view, I think all of us just deserve to go to the IPL and just enjoy these two months."

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'Responsibility is on players to manage IPL workload'


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