Rayudu says some Indian players mentally fatigued

PTI| Updated: Mar 04, 2014, 16:30 PM IST

Mirpur (Bangladesh): Living out of a suitcase for the past several months, middle-order batsman Ambati Rayudu on Tuesday said that some of the India cricketers are suffering from mental fatigue due to its packed and busy international schedule.

"We have been travelling from South Africa to New Zealand and then here. We landed and played a game just two days after travelling from New Zealand. The players are going through mental fatigue as well," Rayudu told reporters after a practice session on the eve of their Asia Cup match against Afghanistan here.

All but eliminated from the race to final, a demoralised India would look to sign off their disastrous Asia Cup campaign on a positive note when they take on spirited debutantes Afghanistan in their last round-robin league match here tomorrow.

This was India`s only third practice session, and first in the ongoing tournament as the players have preferred to stay confined to the hotel rooms on the eve of their last two matches.

Having arrived here on the wee hours of February 24 after a hectic flight from New Zealand, India trained on the same day and the next day before playing their Asia Cup opener against Bangladesh.

But India opted not to travel to the stadium for match practice ahead of their matches against Sri Lanka and Pakistan, against whom they suffered consecutive losses to be on the verge of elimination.

The team`s attitude was questioned by the legendary Sunil Gavaskar, who has slammed its "abysmal work ethic".

But Rayudu said they were training hard but was hard pressed with the hectic scheduling as few members of the side, including stand-in skipper Virat Kohli, have been playing non-stop cricket since the West Indies home series in November last year.

"We have been working very hard as any other teams, if not more. Moreever, we have played back-to-back games. We played three games in five days. It is not only us, no teams has practised after back-to-back games."

The hectic scheduling has also taken a toll on M S Dhoni, who was ruled out for the Asia Cup because of a side strain.

Rayudu praised the team management and said: "I`m sure the team management is capable of handling the team and they are doing a fantastic job."