About a decade ago, the Indian team players were not known for their fitness and lagged way behind the levels set by the players of other countries like New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. But this is not the case with a present lot of Indian players; their fitness levels are up there with the best in the world. The Indian team staff should be given credit for this change in the dressing room.
Indian team’s current conditioning coach Shankar Basu has made mandatory to conduct random fitness tests to maintain the same intensity in the team. Indian cricket team’s coach Ravi Shastri and chief of selectors MSK Prasad have already made their ideas clear about the players being fit to make it to the Indian team. In every practice, session players go through rigorous fitness schedule after their skill-set session.
The Indian cricketers will now undergo a DNA fitness test which reveals the genetic fitness blueprint of an individual. The Test has been inducted to improve a player’s speed, in fat burning, endurance, recovery time, and muscle building. Each players DNA data is then combined with the environmental data which is the individual’s body weight and diet, for an all-round analysis.
A senior BCCI official said:
“Yes, we have started the DNA test for the Indian cricket team for some time now. It is basically in line with the new fitness parameters, which has been set by the team management. The DNA test was first introduced in the NBA (basketball) and the NFL in the United States. The idea was mooted by Shankar Basu and it has proved to be extremely beneficial. For conducting each and every player’s test, the BCCI spends between Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000 which is a nominal amount,”
The test has been introduced to decrease a player’s body fat percentage. The limit for an Indian team player is 23 percentage which is standard for most of the international cricket team. Earlier the Indian team used the skinfold test and later switched to DEXA test.
“Skinfold test was used primarily for a long time but it was found out that results related to body fat percentage were not accurate enough. Then there was a switch to DEXA test for calculation of body fat percentage. The DNA test is being done so that the body’s needs are known to maintain a particular fat percentage,”
Talking about the need for such a test he said:
“Some of them have been having copious amount of milk since childhood as it is a common belief that milk gives you strength. Then they found out that despite training, their body is not able to measure up to the demands of modern day game.”
“When this test started, some players understood that they are lactose intolerant or some who have fetish for mutton biryani know what their body needs after eating a particular kind of food,”