Team India's new head coach Rahul Dravid has asserted he will be prioritising players' mental health and workload management as he begins his stint with the upcoming T20I series against New Zealand. Dravid said he is not looking at building different teams for different formats but will rather effectively manage the workload of the players to ensure they are fresh for each major tournament.
Dravid has replaced Ravi Shastri at the helm of affairs for Team India after their disappointing exit from the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup 2021. India failed to qualify for the semi-finals as they bowed out of the T20 World Cup from the group stages after two losses and three wins in their first five matches.
The Indian team has picked up some new faces in the T20I squad for the New Zealand series that gets underway from Tuesday (November 17) but the management is not looking for a major overhaul. The likes of Ruturaj Gaikwad, Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel and Venkatesh Iyer have been roped in after their brilliant performances in the IPL while Deepak Chahar, Shreyas Iyer and Yuzvendra Chahal among others have been recalled to the squad which will be led by newly-appointed T20I skipper Rohit Sharma.
Dravid said while there will be no separate teams for each format, he will always be in conversation with players to ensure their physical and mental being is taken care of.
"So we are not at that level, looking at separate teams for separate formats. Of course, there are certain players who only play a particular format. We need to have conversations with the players. Players' physical and mental health is the most important thing in these times. I will always be in conversation with them. I would like to work with them to ensure that whenever we are playing, we have them fresh, we have them fully switched on," Dravid said in the pre-match press conference on Tuesday.
The likes of head coach Ravi Shastri, pacer Jasprit Bumrah and others had pointed out how playing excessive cricket and not getting a deserved break between IPL 2021 and T20 World Cup was one of the reasons behind India's poor show in the tournament.
Echoing their sentiments, Dravid said players are not machines and workload management is an important aspect of cricket.
"Workload management is an important aspect of cricket. We see that in football as well. The mental and physical well-being of players will be a priority. We need to do a balancing act, have to work towards having players fit for the big tournaments," said the legendary batter.
"Workload management is important. Players aren't machines. We want all our players fresh for the challenges ahead. It's very simple, we have to monitor every series we play," added Dravid.