Ishant Sharma on 'workload': 'It's a new term. Never saw it during my stint' | Crickit
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Ishant Sharma shuns 'workload' management: 'It's a new term that's come up. Never saw something like it during my stint'

By, New Delhi
Dec 19, 2022 12:20 PM IST

While the Indian cricket team continues to emphasise more towards workload management, the one cricketer who is not fond of the practice is veteran pacer Ishant Sharma.

While the Indian cricket team continues to emphasise more towards workload management, the one cricketer who is not fond of the practice is veteran pacer Ishant Sharma. Ishant, only the second India fast bowler to play 100 Tests after Zaheer Khan, hasn't exactly warmed up to the concept and feels the key to sustaining and surviving long in international cricket, especially for a fast bowler, is to bowl as much and long as possible. As Team India continues to grapple a rising number of injury concerns to their fast bowlers, managing their workload has taken precedence, but Ishant reckons the more the pacers bowl, the chances of them remaining injury-free spikes.

Ishant Sharma has his reservations about the term 'workload' for cricketers. (Getty)
Ishant Sharma has his reservations about the term 'workload' for cricketers. (Getty)

"The only thing I would say right now is: 'Do not think too much about the workload'. That's a new term that's come up in recent times, especially for fast bowlers. I never saw something like that during my international stint. When I started playing, my coach was an old-fashioned coach who would give me a ball in hand at 1 o'clock in the afternoon and we would go on till the sunset. That's how I could bowl long spells when I made my debut in Ranji Trophy and later on for India. If you want to improve, the only thing you can do is to keep bowling," Ishant told Sportstar.

Jasprit Bumrah sustained a stress fracture earlier this year prior to the Asia Cup, and although he returned to play a couple of T20Is, the India pacer went down again with the injury reoccurring and forcing him out of the T20 World Cup. Mohammed Shami was the second casualty as the India quick injured his shoulder in the lead up to the Bangladesh ODIs and was ruled out for an indefinite period of time. The worst of the lot is Deepak Chahar, who pulled his hamstring – his third injury of the year – and is back on the shelf again. Weighing in on the same, Ishant feels the number of breaks that are offered to bowlers are too much and that this entire theory needs to be reconsidered.

"I think if you have made your name through domestic cricket, you should not be selective about playing games thereafter. If you want to play domestic cricket, nobody can stop you. Only when you have played a sizable amount of cricket for the country can you be given a break at times. Most pacers break down during Ranji Trophy games because they don't go through the ideal preparation," Ishant, who has had his fair share of injuries during his 15-year career, added.

"Bowling in Ranji Trophy is a different ballgame altogether. If you are studying for the IAS exam, you have to study for 16 hours a day. Similarly, if you want to prepare to last a whole season of Ranji Trophy and bowl 20 overs a day, you cannot prepare for it by taking breaks. You have to prepare accordingly. Only if you are used to bowling 25 overs in the nets every day can you bowl 20 overs in a game."

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