Former pacer Irfan Pathan believes the Indian team management will have to focus on the bowlers and be extremely careful with regard to injury management once the players hit the ground after the coronavirus-forced hiatus.

Players in India haven’t been able to practise since March 25 due to the countrywide lockdown imposed to contain the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.

Pacer Shardul Thakur became the first Indian team member to resume training after he bowled in the nets in Boisar in Palghar district last month.

Pathan, a former left-handed seamer, who has played 29 Tests and 120 One-Day Internationals for India, feels that any team, including an Indian Premier League one, will have to be careful with the bowlers, who would be more prone to injury having been out of action for more than two months.

“Injury management is the most important thing. We will have to focus on all the bowlers,” Pathan said on Star Sports’ Hindi show Cricket Connected.

The ICC also recently came up with specific guidelines for bowlers, suggesting that teams would need to exercise caution over bowlers’ workloads to avoid a serious injury like stress fracture of the spine as players get ready to resume training.

“In a squad of 15, every team has four to six bowlers. Be it an IPL team, Indian team or any international or domestic team, we will have to be extremely careful about injury management as our boys have been out of action for a while,” said Pathan, who was part of the Indian team that lifted the 2007 T20 World Cup.

Indian all-rounder Suresh Raina also felt regaining fitness will be a big challenge for players once cricket resumes.

“Being an outdoor sport, the challenge would be fitness when cricket restarts,” the 33-year-old said on on Star Sports’ Hindi show Cricket Connected.

“Once on-field drills begin, we will get a clearer picture of where the players stand. I also think, because there has been no cricket for so long, players will find the love for the game that was there when they started playing. When cricket starts, it is important that we enjoy it,” he added.