In what was a long day at work for Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly, in board’s Mumbai headquarters, the first half was reserved for a meeting with former team-mate and National Cricket Academy (NCA) director Rahul Dravid. “We discussed NCA matters,” Ganguly said.
It’s learnt the duo also exchanged ideas on streamlining fitness rehabilitation protocols for India players. Recently, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya did not undergo rehab at the NCA and preferred to consult private specialists. Subsequently, NCA refused to conduct Bumrah’s fitness test as ‘they knew little about his rehab procedure’. Bumrah was later passed fit, and selected for the upcoming T20 series against Sri Lanka, with the team physio having seen him bowl at a practice session with the Indian team at Vishakapatnam.
Pandya, who is expected to be fit by middle of January, has also been selected to play for India A in New Zealand.
“Some players question the expertise of NCA physio Ashish Kaushik, others have issues with inadequate facilities at NCA,” said a BCCI source.
Ganguly had stepped in, suggesting, things would be in place soon. “I am not aware of the issue. But Indian players will have to go back to NCA, and we will make sure it is comfortable and logistically easier,” he had said.
Later in the day, head coach Ravi Shastri met secretary Jay Shah to discuss the path ahead. It’s learnt, the team management is unhappy with players breaking down frequently after being certified fit at the NCA. Multiple scans failed to detect seamer Bhuveneshwar Kumar’s ‘sports hernia’ before he eventually broke down in the middle of the West Indies series. Kumar will miss the tour of New Zealand as well.
Swing bowler Deepak Chahar also broke down in the last series, and has been ruled out till April. “He aggravated his back injury,” chief selector MSK Prasad confirmed. Previously, diagnosis of wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha’s injury at NCA had also come in question.
Meanwhile, Dravid flew to South Africa late Thursday night to be with the Indian U-19 team which is playing preparatory tournaments ahead of the World Cup, scheduled to begin from January 17.