The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has put cricket on a hold and only yesterday, the BCCI came out and declared that the IPL 2020 had been suspended until further notice. While most cricketers have been spending their time at home and even training, top trainers feel that the players (especially pace bowlers) will need at least three weeks of good practice before they are match ready. It has been almost a month since all cricket action around the globe came to a pause.
According to a report by the Times of India, CSK bowling coach and former Team India bowler Lakshmipathy Balaji has expressed concerns over the prolonged break that the players have on their hands at the moment. Balaji likened the situation to that of a car which runs regularly and suddenly stops running, resulting in its battery taking a hit. According to Lakshmipathy Balaji, the training that bowlers get on a treadmill can not, in any way, replicate a real ground. "It will be crucial for bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah, who have had history of injuries, to carefully monitor the return," Lakshmipathy Balaji was quoted saying by the Times of India.
Along with Lakshmipathy Balaji, former Team India trainer Sudarshan was also quoted by the report. Sudarshan explained how fast bowling involves a lot of cardio-vascular activity along with the load that bowlers face while jumping and landing. The trainer explained that this load needs to be gradually built up and can not be put at once on any bowler. Trainer Ramji Srinivasan, who trained India during the 2011 World Cup, was also of the same opinion as he maintained that training on the ground and training on the treadmill is not the same. The trainers felt that the players would need at least three weeks of proper practice to become match ready.
The CSK team was one of the earliest teams to begin with training ahead of IPL 2020. Captain MS Dhoni, bowling coach Lakshmipathy Balaji, bowler Piyush Chawla, and other players had already made their way to the Chepauk, last month. The CSK practice sessions were soon cancelled after the BCCI suspended the IPL in March. CSK were supposed to play their first match on March 29.