Why key players in India don't have ties with the Ranji trophy

MUMBAI: A few days ago, some of Grillo's former players and the media entered Shreyas Iyer & Shivam dube for not appearing in Mumbai Ranji Trophy game against the railroads at Wankhede Stadium on Christmas day even though there was no international commitment in that period. Missing them, Mumbai suffered a crushing defeat of 10 wicket, the first in Railways.

Almost at the same time, pacemaker Navdeep Saini too missed Delhi’s Ranji Trophy game against Hyderabad, citing that he had “been asked to rest”. On Tuesday, it emerged that India’s Test opener Mayank Agarwal will miss Karnataka’s Ranji Trophy match against Mumbai, which begins at the MCA BKC Complex from Friday.

TOI has learnt that Iyer, Dube & Agarwal were all “advised rest” by the “medical team of the Indian team,” which comprises physio Nitin Patel & trainer Nick Webb.

“Team India’s medical team of the Indian team monitors the workload of all the players in the side. Iyer & Dube were asked to rest as per its advice. Mayank has played two games so far, but he needs to rest a bit now because then he will leave with the India A team for New Zealand on January 10. Whenever a player is asked to rest from domestic games, skipper Virat Kohli, coach Ravi Shastri & chief selector MSK Prasad are informed about it,” said a reliable source in the board.

“It’s important to manage the workload of all the India players, so that they’re fresh & fit when they play for India. Sometimes, in this period when they’re asked to rest, they’re supposed to just train for a week & not play any Cricket . There is so much non-stop Cricket these days that workload management is paramount,” he explained. “The medical team maintains a database of all the players, their injuries & matches played.” he added.

However, there is an argument that the India players’ missing the Ranji Trophy despite being available to play devalues India’s biggest domestic tournament. There was also the case of pacer Jasprit Bumrah , first being asked by the selectors to play for Gujarat in the Ranji Trophy against Kerala in Surat but then being told to pull out by BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, a fact that got the attention of the legendary Sunil Gavaskar who wrote in a column that he hoped that it would be an exception.

“It’s not that all India players have stopped playing in the Ranji Trophy . In New Zealand, Mayank will be playing in both the limited-overs & the four-day first-class games. Ajinkya Rahane & Prithvi Shaw are playing for Mumbai. KL Rahul played in both the Vijay Hazare & Mushtaq Ali Trophy for Karnataka. At a time when you have IPL, T20 Cricket & the India A tours, you have to give players sufficient time to recuperate & stay fresh,” he stressed.