What's the story?
Indian head coach Ravi Shastri recently requested the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to plan the team's schedule with more consideration and care. The Indian team has had practically no rest since the start of this year and has been playing series after series, as a result of the BCCI scheduling.
“The international calendar is so tight these days and it’s not only the matches that take a toll on players’ body but the long flights and traveling. Shastri has requested us to look into it, as he believes it would help players to recover faster,” a source in the BCCI told the Indian Express.
"England and Australia give enough gaps between series and the BCCI too should have a plan where players can get a decent break and recover better. Otherwise, everyone is happy with the way how BCCI is taking care of its players," the source added.
In case you didn't know..
Virat Kohli and Co. went on a rampage on the recently-concluded Sri Lanka tour, where they whitewashed the hosts not only in Tests, but also in the limited overs series. It was a long affair that began at the end of July and went up to the opening week of September.
The Sri Lanka series was preceded by a tour of the Caribbean islands, before which India contested in an intense Champions Trophy campaign.
Kapil Malhotra, the manager of the Indian Cricket Team for the Champions Trophy, wrote in his report:
Going forward, would suggest that there is enough time given to the squad to rest when they arrive, after long flights, before they start their activities, at least a couple of days, because If you see the scheduling, the day we got into London in the morning, within a few hours the Captain had to attend the arrival press conference, then captains photo shoot, then the entire squad had to attend Anti-Doping educational briefing along with ACU educational briefing.
The next day we were at Lords, practising.
The national team's schedule is completely packed for the next few months. Australia's limited-overs tour will be followed by a visit from New Zealand, which will also follow a similar pattern.
It will then be time for India to host Sri Lanka for a full-fledged tour this time, before they travel to South Africa next year, which promises to be their biggest overseas challenge under Kohli so far.
Shastri's request has hardly come as a surprise to the Indian cricket fan. In fact, it might have come a little late. Kohli's men have been on the go ever since Australia toured India earlier this year, and have had no rest as they prepare to host Steve Smith's men yet again next week.
International cricket is extremely taxing, both physically as well as psychologically. It is imperative that the cricketers get enough time to unwind between tours. Stinginess on this time is neither appropriate nor acceptable, especially if the team want success in the series. The health and fitness of the players must take precedence over everything else.