Team India was quick to lose the magical touch that it exhibited in the first phase of the New Zealand tour. India began the tour with a bang and won all the five T20Is to establish their dominance. The hosts, however, were quick to make a comeback and thrashed India in all three NZ vs IND ODIs and followed on with a convincing ten-wicket victory in the first Test. Among all this, a question that has been floating around on social media has become a major concern, are the Indian cricketers burnt out? Former India captain Kapil Dev has his take on the issue.
While other teams have had a well spread-out cricket calendar since the end of the World Cup, Team India has continued to play intense cricket with multiple tours that had them playing against the West Indies, South Africa, Bangladesh, Australia and now New Zealand. Fans have noted how skipper Virat Kohli's form seems to be heading south, which is unlike the skipper's record for the better part of the last decade. In the early stages of the tour, even Virat Kohli had mentioned how the team follows a very intense travel schedule between games. So the question stands - Is Team India playing too much cricket?
As reported by IANS, the 1983 World Cup-winning Indian captain Kapil Dev talked to a few reporters about Team India's performances and whether 'burnout' has played a part in the poor performances that have come from the 'Men in Blue' recently. Kapil Dev insisted that cricket that is played for the national team first and not for IPL franchises. If a player feels burnt out, he/she should skip franchise cricket (i.e. the IPL).
Kapil Dev also added that he could not exactly figure out if the players are actually burnt out in the NZ series as he only witnesses the matches on a television screen. Drawing from his own experience, the 61-year-old all-rounder talked about how the feeling of 'burning out' can come more from lack of performances than actual physical fatigue.
The IPL 2020 schedule will be in full force on March 29 when the Mumbai Indians host the Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede. India complete the NZ vs IND tour by playing a final Test at Christchurch, beginning February 29. India will then host South Africa for a three-match ODI series in mid-March.