Mohali, May 6 (PTI) A gruelling schedule and traveling has taken a toll on their key players but Gujarat Lions assistant coach Mohammed Kaif today said cricketers are bound to have niggles in long Leagues such as IPL.

Lions have lost Brendon McCullum and Andrew Tye to injuries and are now languishing at number seven in the points table. West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo was ruled out of this edition as he was yet to recuperate from a hamstring surgery after sustaining an injury in December during the Big Bash League.

“This is something you can’t really help much. In tournament like IPL the players come here to give their best shot and you all know traveling and practicing can take a toll on your body,” Kaif said.

“Senior players like McCullum and Bravo not playing regularly is a big loss to the side,” he lamented.

McCullum will miss the remaining matches after suffering a hamstring strain while Tye sustained an injury when he dived to stop a boundary during their match against Mumbai Indians.

“If you ask me, I also played for India, you know your body best. How you are feeling and how much rest you want to give yourself and things like that. But when it comes to match you want to give your best shot.

“Sometimes, you have niggles around, because you cannot be fully fit 100 per cent all the time with so much traveling and close matches. So, you always have niggles and physio and trainers can help you,” Kaif said.

After losing the match against Delhi Daredevils despite putting 208 runs on the board batting first, Kaif said, “you cannot write off Rishab Pant’s knock on that day. We had no answers and it is tough to lose a game like this.” Asked what is the advice of team coaches in such a situation, the former India player said, “Coaches tell them let’s move on to next matches. Actually, you have very less time to sit down and talk about the areas to improve and the mistakes you have done. There is not much time to actually sit down and work on those areas. To work on those areas, you need to have time.”

Kaif also said that Lions lost some close games, like against Mumbai Indians and few more matches they should have won, “but that is how it goes in the IPL”.

“We haven’t had a great season comparing to our performance last year. Bravo was a big miss this time, he is an all-rounder and all-rounders like him always help the team. He is proven match winner, he can bat, he can bowl, he can field. His absence has hurt us badly,” Kaif said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.