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MS Dhoni and Anil Kumble weigh in their opinion on the fast bowlers to be rested in the IPL

World Cup is all set to begin only a few days after the conclusion of the IPL.

MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni. (Photo Source: Twitter)

With the next World Cup set to be played not very long after the conclusion of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the cricketing world is divided into two halves. There is little denying the fact that the IPL does not let the players recover from fatigue due to its busy schedule and the travel associated with it. The past editions of the league have seen several players suffering serious injuries which kept them on the sidelines for long.

Not surprisingly, there is a section that feels the players should skip this year’s IPL or at least the latter part of it to remain fresh for the World Cup. Cricket Australia and England And Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have already announced that their players will return home early in order to join the preparatory camps for the showpiece event.  However, the others contradict with it and opine that playing in the league would keep the bowlers in rhythm.

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The BCCI, on its part, is doing all it can to ensure a good gap between the IPL and the World Cup which starts on May 30. This is one of the reasons that the Indian board is yet to announce the schedule. It has been learned that the 12th edition of the league could be advanced by a couple of weeks and is likely to start on March 23 so that the players get adequate rest.

Former skippers give their opinion

Former India skipper MS Dhoni and Anil Kumble have now given their opinions on the much-debated topic. Dhoni, who knows a thing or two about winning ICC tournaments, said that the players should play the World Cup as bilateral event before insisting that not resting the bowlers but finding the right balance is important.

“What will be crucial for us is to play the World Cup like a bilateral event. We shouldn’t think of it as the World Cup,” Dhoni said during a Star Sports chat show.

“Keeping our bowlers injury free is important. If you rest them, the first thing commentators say is they are rusty, and if you make them play, then is he not too fresh. So we have to find that fine balance even though it might be a bit difficult to manage,” added Dhoni. On the other hand, former Test skipper Anil Kumble felt that fast bowlers should consider skipping the IPL.

“One of the most important parts of preparation will be keeping yourself (players) fresh as there is a lot of cricket coming up from now till the start of the World Cup. Maybe resting some of the top bowlers in a few of the IPL games is an option. Even though franchises might not like that or want to rest them, it has to be considered for India’s sake,” Kumble said.

Dhoni contradicts with Kumble’s thoughts

However, Dhoni contradicted with the legendary leg-spinner and said that IPL could be an ideal platform for bowlers to get in shape. “Bowling four overs won’t make you tired. The four overs actually keeps you at your best, you are bowling the yorkers, bowling the variation and playing under pressure. I feel the bowlers can still play the whole of the IPL but what they need to manage is what they eat, when they sleep and wake up.

“I would like them to be at their best when it comes to the skill factor. I always felt IPL was the best time to get in shape because I had a lot of time. I was playing only three and a half hours every third day and it gave me time to spend in the gym,” Dhoni further added.

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