Head coach Rahul Dravid has said it would be unrealistic to expect India’s all-format players, such as Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, to be available for every series. Rohit and Virat, alongside Jasprit Bumrah, have been rested for India’s upcoming five-match T20I series versus South Africa.
The BCCI decided to give India's star trio of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Jasprit Bumrah a rest for the upcoming five-match T20I series against South Africa, starting from June 9 in Delhi. They all will be travel to July for the one-off Test versus England, which would be crucial for India to keep their chances of qualifying in the WTC final alive.
Ahead of the series opener against South Africa, India head coach Rahul Dravid, during the pre-match press conference, was asked the reason behind giving rest to their all-format players. Dravid replied it would be 'unrealistic' to expect them to be available for every series, as they are having a busy schedule ahead. He also mentioned that there is no communication gap between him and Rohit, India's all-format captain, and KL Rahul, who will be in charge in his absence, knows his job pretty well.
"It's not difficult at all. We (Rohit and I) are in touch. (KL) Rahul has captained before, we are clear on a lot of things. Rohit is one of our all-format players and it is unrealistic to expect all (all format players) to be available for every series," Dravid said while speaking to the press ahead of the first T20I.
"We need to ensure that they are fit for all the big tournaments, we need to manage them before that to ensure that they are peaking then. We also have the Test match in the UK spilling from last year and we need to ensure we try to be able to get the best side for that Test match.
"With the kind of busy schedule, we have to understand there are times we need to rest our big players. We won't be able to field our strongest team all the time. It gives youngsters opportunities and increases the depth of our squad and gives us an opportunity to assess how good they are."
Further, when explaining players' workload, Dravid commented, "It is a balance between managing the workload of some of the players, especially who have been a part of all three formats of the game for us in the last six months. We will do that over the next six months. It is important to manage people through a very busy calendar."
Notably, if India manage to beat South Africa in the series opener, they will achieve a new world record of winning the most number of games on the trot in T20Is. They are currently tied with Afghanistan, with 12 wins.