(MENAFN- Gulf Times) India captain Rohit Sharma said his teammates should consider skipping the occasional match during the Indian Premier League (IPL) to manage their workload ahead of the Cricket World Cup on home soil later this year.
A recurring back injury kept middle order batter Shreyas Iyer out of the home one-day series against Australia, which the tourists won 2-1 on Wednesday, while pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah has been out since September due to back issues.
Rohit acknowledged that IPL sides will look to field their best team in every match and said it was up to the players to look after themselves ahead of the World Cup in October-November.
“It's all up to the franchises now. They own them now,” Rohit, who leads Mumbai Indians in the IPL, told reporters after India's 21-run loss in Chennai on Wednesday.
“We have given some indications to the teams but at the end of the day, it's up to the franchises, and more importantly, it's up to the players.
“They are all adults, they have to look after their bodies. If they feel it's getting a bit too much, they can talk about it and take a break in one or two games. I doubt if that will happen.”
In terms of form, Rohit played down the struggles of Suryakumar Yadav during the ODI series, the world's top ranked T20 batter falling for a first-ball duck in each of the three matches.
“I don't know how much to look into it. He got three good balls, to be honest,” Rohit said.
“He plays spin so well... That's why we held him back and gave him that role for the last 15-20 overs where he can play his game, but it's really unfortunate he could only play three balls. That can happen to anyone.”
Australia back on top ahead of ODI World Cup
Meanwhile Australia leave India with the world number one ranking in one-day cricket and will return to the subcontinent for this year's World Cup with confidence after edging the hosts 2-1 in the series.
Australian white ball cricket looked to be at a crossroads only a few months ago, with Aaron Finch stepping down from the one-day captaincy and the Twenty20 team failing to reach the World Cup semi-finals on home soil. Yet Australia's ability to quickly reset, rebound and ultimately dominate was on display again in India where they sealed the series with a 21-run win in Chennai on Wednesday under stand-in skipper Steve Smith.
“I think in World Cup years, it can be very easy to look too far ahead,” Mitchell Marsh said.“But we really wanted to be focused on this series and make sure that our focus was winning games for Australia. So, really proud of the guys efforts to be able to beat the number one team in the world in their backyard. It's a great achievement. Very proud of the lads and it's the first step towards our World Cup.”
India host the 13th edition of the World Cup in October-November.
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