Team India support staff back in spotlight after Kedar Jadhav joins casualty list
The team management has time and again spoken about the need for players to pass the Yo-Yo test to prove their fitness and get into the team. But the rising number of injuries puts team physio Patrick Farhart and trainer Shankar Basu in the spotlight.Updated: Sep 29, 2018 13:41 IST
Amidst all talks of India beating Bangladesh to win the Asia Cup for the seventh time, a major area that is a cause for concern is the ever-increasing case of players in the current team getting injured. At a time when the team management has time and again spoken about the need for players to pass the Yo-Yo test to prove their fitness and get into the team, the rising number of injuries puts team physio Patrick Farhart and trainer Shankar Basu in the spotlight.
Kedar Jadhav was the latest casualty when he suffered a right hamstring strain on Friday night, having made a return to the team after almost three months due to a hamstring injury he suffered during the Indian Premier League. This isn’t a one-off case as Hardik Pandya too suffered a back injury earlier in the tournament and had to be released from the squad.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, a senior BCCI official said that it was time that the issue was addressed because it can no longer be considered a coincidence that players are getting injured this frequently.
“There are a lot of systems that have broken down within the BCCI, but the one that directly impacts the elite athletes is the mess in the structure of the strength and conditioning department of the board. There is no sync between Patrick and Ashish Kaushik (NCA physio) and they are in a way, islands. The treasurer had written a detailed email in this regard a while back and we were hopeful that the mess would be sorted out but that, like many other crucial things, was also swept under the carpet by the present dispensation.
“The ones who are injured are always uncertain about how to handle things and at times are more comfortable seeking out their IPL physiotherapists when injured. The role of Basu as a trainer is also under heavy scrutiny and though he is considered to be Virat Kohli’s man since he brought him to this role, the players speak in hushed tones and refer to the number of injuries that have occurred out of competition or in training. Quite a few players are not comfortable with him. This mess needs sorting but there is no one competent enough to sort the mess presently as the present dispensation blunders from situation to situation,” he said.
The whole injury issue started with Bhuvneshwar Kumar aggravating his injury in England during the ODI series and then missing the five-match Test series. That was followed by R Ashwin playing with a groin injury in the fourth Test, having suffered it in the third game at Trent Bridge. Not to forget the back problem skipper Virat Kohli faced in the second game of the Test series and had to bat with in the final innings of the Lord’s Test.
In fact, Hindustan Times has also learnt that skipper Virat Kohli has been struggling with a wrist issue and that led to the national selectors delaying the announcement of the team for the two-Test series against West Indies. They were expected to name the squad on Wednesday as per a BCCI release, but nothing was finalised.
A former India trainer said that the support staff needed to realise that a skill specific system needs to be introduced to ensure that players don’t suffer so many injuries. “See, injuries are a part and parcel of sports. But when it happens so frequently like it has in the last two seasons, it is a cause for concern. The support staff needs to realise that just focusing on the Yo-Yo test will not do and there needs to be a systematic approach wherein skill specific testing must be done. You can never have the same process to gauge a fast bowler’s fitness as you will for a batsman. Specialised programming is a must for each individual. While some players will need to take extra care of their back, others might be needed to look into their glutes. It isn’t easy, but at the top level, there needs to be a professional approach,” he told Hindustan Times.
As for Kedar, he hoped that it wasn’t something very serious. “It’s at least Grade I or II tear. Let’s see tomorrow,” he said.
First Published: Sep 29, 2018 13:19 IST