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Croaking from cricket

How much is too much? The non-stop cricketing carnival — Tests, ODIs and T20 games — might be great for TV ratings but what toll will it take on our superstars? HT Correspondent reports. Killing Fields

cricket Updated: Nov 15, 2008 23:51 IST
HT Correspondent

Ishant Sharma's ankle injury has only resulted in him being rested, as of now, at least.

Fortunately for India, though Ishant is not the most muscular of fast bowlers, he seems to be blessed with a constitution that allows him to bowl a lot of overs. But he is not alone in this and the think tank has noted that the workload is quite severe for some cricketers.

While the volume of cricket has increased steadily over the last few years, the problem has been compounded by the fact that there is so little recovery time between matches. Not only within a series, where teams try to complete a tour in as quick time as possible, but even between series, there's barely any downtime.

Take the current scenario for example. By the time India had finished the fourth Test against Australia at Nagpur, England had already arrived in Mumbai.

There was only a gap of three days for India’s players to switch from Test to ODI mode. And it only gets worse.

MS Dhoni, who plays a central role in all forms of the game, will play the last of seven ODIs against England in Delhi on December 2. On the 4th he will turn out for his Chennai IPL team in the Twenty20 Champions League in Mumbai. If he manages to lead his side to glory, it will play the final on December 10 at Chennai, but as desperate as he and his franchise will be for him to lead, Dhoni can't play that game. On December 11 India play England in the first Test at Ahmedabad.

If you think it ends there, think again. Soon after is India's tour of Pakistan, which might even be played in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. Then there's a tour of New Zealand … and you're back to T20 in the IPL.

Only recently Anil Kumble, when stepping down, said India were on their way to becoming No. 1 in all formats of the game. If they are to achieve this ambition then sooner, rather than later, they will have to chalk out a definitive rotation plan.