In the build-up to the latest edition of the Indian T20 League, Mumbai head coach Mark Boucher has downplayed the role of workload management in T20 cricket, saying that the format was too short to be tough on the body, unlike Test and ODI cricket.
Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Boucher voiced his amazement that workload was still being talked about in relation to T20 cricket, saying that the conversation would not be happening 10-15 years ago. He also added that these days, they had trainers and analysts to provide all the relevant data related to workload, adding that if you looked at his side’s schedule, they had quite a bit of rest in between games.
Boucher finished off by saying that although they would try and look after every player, they did not see workload being a major issue, saying that sometimes the media and the public could look too much into the subject.
The former South African wicketkeeper-batter also gave star batter Suryakumar Yadav his full backing, saying that you can’t judge a player’s form on how he faces the first ball. This was in reference to Yadav’s horror show in the recently concluded ODI series against Australia, where he was dismissed for three consecutive first-ball ducks.
Boucher revealed that he had checked in with Yadav and how he was feeling and that Yadav had said that he was hitting the ball very well. He also expressed a hope that Yadav would get back to business when he faces his first ball in the league, saying that he was probably the best T20 player in the world at the moment.
On the subject of Jasprit Bumrah’s absence for Mumbai, Boucher accepted that it was a big loss for the side, but chose to view it as an opportunity for other bowlers to step up. Highlighting his side’s exciting bowling attack, he said that Mumbai had invested in youngsters for the future while building their squads in the past and that this was their time to shine. Boucher mentioned the likes of the experienced spinner Piyush Chawla and young guns Kumar Kartikeya and Hrithik Shokeen, saying that it would be interesting to see how they operated this season.
Talking about the implementation of the new rule that would allow teams to field an impact player, Boucher said that he was fully behind it, saying that it was a great innovation and that he had no problem changing teams after the toss. He added that they would have to learn and adjust, but said that this rule would ensure that it would be a level playing field even if you lose the toss, especially in India where dew was an important factor. However, he concluded by saying that they will try to select the 11 best cricketers that they had and that the 12th was just a bonus.
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