The IPL 2018 has been off to a thrilling start and has seen many matches go down to the wire. Keeping in mind the workload of the Indian players in the tournament, BCCI has identified 23 players who have the potential to play for the senior national team and will monitor their work.
These 23 players are the ones who are not in the BCCI's Central Contract list which has elite internationals such as Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and MS Dhoni. The list includes all those whom the selection committee found worthy of national or A team call-up in near future.
This list includes players such as U19 stars Prithvi Shaw and Shivam Mavi to a domestic sensation like Mayank Agarwal.
"The basic plan was to divide the players into three groups. The first group comprises current U-19s. The second group is of old U-19s, where we have players who played U-19 India in last 3 to 4 years. And the third group is of current India A Players," a senior BCCI office-bearer told on conditions of anonymity.
With loads of matches and traveling in the tournament, BCCI will monitor the fitness and load of these players.
"Let me give you an example. Young fast bowlers like Shivam Mavi or a Navdeep Saini may be asked by their franchise coaches to bowl 60 to 100 deliveries during a training session to Chris Lynn or AB de Villiers since they may not be certainties in playing XI. Here the BCCI steps in. These youngsters are our assets. A Bhuvneshwar Kumar knows his body and workload but when it comes to Mavi, Navdeep or Avesh (Khan), it's our duty to protect them for the greater interest of Indian cricket," the office-bearer said.
The NCA has chalked out a fitness plan for the young Indian fast bowlers which have to be followed by the franchise coaches. It is learned that someone like Bengal's Abhimanyu Easwaran is not on the list as he is not playing IPL but is certainly on the radar for India A's tour of England.
The following players (outside Central Contract) are being specially monitored by BCCI:
Current U-19s: Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill, Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti.
Old U19s: Ishan Kishan, Rishabh Pant, Avesh Khan, Khaleel Ahmed, Sanju Samson.
Domestic, India A: Shreyas Iyer, Washington Sundar, Vijay Shankar, Jaydev Unadkat, Basil Thampi, Deepak Hooda, Mayank Agarwal, Ravikumar Samarth, Navdeep Saini, Siddarth Kaul, Hanuma Vihari, Ankeet Bawane.
(With input from PTI)