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We need to start planning for WC

india Updated: Aug 14, 2010 23:56 IST

After the excitement of the Test series, the one-dayers have brought the focus on next year's World Cup. It's an important tournament in any player's career, and the fact that it will be played in India means that talk of the tournament may start earlier than usual with the fans and in the media.

With that in mind, too much should not be read into India's loss to New Zealand in the opening match of the tri-series in Sri Lanka. It was one of those off days - a combination of the fact that some of the players had come straight from a 3-Test series and others were fresh into the mix without any match practice.

With the three formats gaining strength, it will be important for the management to judiciously handle the mix. There has to be a plan in place that helps ensure that players coming in have some way to get match-ready.

You're only going to have 3-5 players playing in all forms, and the others will join the team without match practice. The importance of having camps, or getting players to play some sort of practice matches will only increase.

It's important to identify 15-20 players who you think will form the core for the World Cup. Once that's done, you have to ensure that this group stays ready and fit so that the team can give its peak performance.

Despite careful planning, you might still lose a player through injury. But without it, you could be without as many as 3-4 crucial players and that can really have a telling impact on your chances.

While it's important that the group gets all the support it needs, it's also critical that each individual realises what his responsibilities are and be disciplined in preparation.

There have to be clear and measurable goals and a careful monitoring of these to follow the progress. Each player should know the role he has to play. Fitness has been an issue with players picking up injuries from the constant cricket that's happening. This situation needs to be managed.

Hawkeye Communications