International cricket is demanding both mentally and physically and does staying away from the game for a period help you regroup or does it make you lose the plot? Different people have different requirements to face the realities of this game but how long is too long?
Jasprit Bumrah played his first full series back from injury against New Zealand, and throughout the series the first word that came to my mind watching him bowl, RUSTY. Imagine 11 players of your team turning out like that. Oh, well we might see that happen very soon.
Injuries are considered to be the biggest setbacks in the career of a sportsman because it takes a lot of hard work to be back out there again with the same intensity, same fitness levels and most importantly with the same fight. What cricketers often lack post injuries is match practice, or in fact some time in the middle, and it is going to be no different in the case of this indefinite break caused by the pandemic Coronavirus.
During this break there are things cricketers can keep under check and the most essential of them all is the fitness, but that is not all that will help them get back out there with ease. It is going to be very hard for the players to get back into the groove but it’s a challenge which players around the world would be ready to face because that is how much they will miss playing the sport they love.
When players eventually come out of this indefinite coronavirus induced break what they would need more than anything is match practice because you can do all you want in the nets and off the field but nothing beats time in the middle. The coaches and support staff need to be keen on creating match like simulations in practice to keep the players ready for the hunt as the world combats the coronavirus.
International cricketers are subject to pressure situations day in day out, which helps them get mentally tougher and stay in the zone but a break like this can equally affect a cricketer on the mental front. Not being put into these situations day in day out can make the players switch off from the game completely, which might be good in some cases but can put you off totally if that period gets longer or in this case, indefinite. It will be equally important for the players to stay mentally fresh as they are physically because if you’re not mentally up there you could be behind the eight ball from the very go.
With the World T20 just a few months away and ICC showing no signs of postponing the tournament, it can get really hard for all the scheduled series’ to go as per plan. The team that lifts the World T20 has to be the one that adapts quickly into the demanding world of international cricket as early as possible.