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‘Rotation imperative to preserve bowlers’

Rotation is probably the only way to keep fatigue and injury at bay in the now non-stop world of cricket, reports Subhash Rajta.

cricket Updated: Jun 25, 2008 01:06 IST
Subhash Rajta

Rotation is probably the only way to keep fatigue and injury at bay in the now non-stop world of cricket. Gary Kirsten, the Indian coach, understands this well, but isn't sure if it would work in a desired manner until it inspires trust and sense of security amongst the players.

"I don't think a player would come forward and ask for rotation," the coach said. "He would always be worried about losing his place in the side if his replacement does well. So I think the system will need to create an environment where the players don't feel insecure and the player being rotated remains certain to reclaim his place, irrespective of how his replacement performs."

Kirsten feels that the bowlers, in particular, need attention. "We have got to be careful with the bowlers. Some of these guys play a lot of cricket and we could keep them in top physical conditions only if they are rotated."

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the Indian captain, agreed with his coach that the cricketing calendar had become tough.

"The calendar is getting quite challenging. It was already quite hectic with Tests and ODIs, and now we have T20s as well to deal with," he said.

With this hectic pace, Dhoni said, the careers of the players would shorten significantly. "I don't think we are now going to see players playing for 17-18 years. The players will burn out like overused machinery," said Dhoni.

It's here that the trust and sense of security that the system needs to inspire amongst the players will come into play. If it manages to inspire confidence and security amongst the players, one could hope to see even a relatively young player opting for a deserved rest without fretting about making a comeback.

"I am very much in favour of a rotation policy to keep the players fresh and am looking forward to having a pool of around 20 players who can represent the country in both forms of the game," he said.

Kirsten also believes that trying out new ideas and innovation is the way forward. "We are always looking at new ways of playing the game. Pick up new ideas, new shot making, just trying to improve the game by 5 to 10 per cent and that's what can make all the difference," he said.

It was as part of this philosophy that he spent a lot of time with Yousuf Pathan, helping him practice sweep shots and the switch shot, a la Kevin Pietersen. "It's some of the new things we are trying to do with him and others. We want them to practice these innovative strokes well before they actually employ them in matches," he said.