Mumbai: Mumbai Indians head coach Mark Boucher on Wednesday said he has absolutely no problem in resting captain Rohit Sharma during the league stage of 2023 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), in order to manage his workload.
With 2023 being an ODI World Cup year, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had stated previously that the workload of players bound for the mega event will be monitored during IPL 2023 running from March 31 to May 28.
Rohit is yet to captain India in overseas Test due to suffering injuries or even Covid-19 and his workload becomes all more important, especially with the World Test Championship final against Australia starting from June 7 at The Oval in London.
Asked during MI’s pre-season press conference on whether he will rest during games, Rohit quipped, “In terms of me resting, I think Mark will give you an answer to that,” he said. To this, Boucher replied, “Do you want to rest?”
Boucher then added, “In regards to resting Rohit, he is the captain. Hopefully he gets into some good sort of form and I hope he doesn’t want to rest. But we all adapt to different situations. If I can get the best out of him as a captain and player, that will be great. If it means he wants to rest 1 or 2 games, then I will do that. Absolutely, no problem.”
Boucher, the former South Africa head coach, was also amused over talk of workload management surrounding T20 games, and suggested that ODIs as well as Tests are more gruelling on the bodies of the cricketers.
“It is amazing we are even talking about workload in T20 cricket. Probably about 10 or 15 years ago we would not be having this conversation. Workload is something we have the science behind it, we have got trainers and we have got the guys who give us the data.”
“There is a lot of talk about workload but if you look at our schedule, we have got quite a bit of rest in between. We can try and look after every player and I do not see workload being a major issue for us throughout the IPL.”
“Sometimes media and people look too much into workload in T20 cricket. Test cricket and one-day cricket are tough on the body, T20 cricket is short. We should not be talking about workload in T20 cricket with all due respect.”
With impact player rule and teams announcing playing elevens after the toss is held bringing the flair of innovation in IPL 2023, Rohit said the new rules were to his liking. “It’s interesting to have new sort of innovation coming into the game. Only time will tell what will happen and how the team copes with this new rule. I like having an impact player coming in and changing your team after the toss.”
Boucher, the former South Africa wicketkeeper-batter, agreed with Rohit’s views. “We are going to have to learn. It is a great innovation; I have no problem with the changing of the teams after the toss.”
“If (say), these sort of two rules that would have changed straight away and say this year we are going to have an impact player, and next year we are going to change the rule of the toss, it might have been a little bit different. But both rules have changed now, and it is going to have an impact.”
“It will be a level playing field after the toss if you lose, especially in India, where there is the dew factor. So you are just going to be able to adjust. But as Rohit said, you have 11 cricketers, and you will try to select the best 11 cricketers you have. The 12th player is just a bonus,” he concluded.