Virat Kohli, India and Royal Challengers Bangalore captain, has returned from the long coronavirus-enforced hiatus as an ever fitter athlete after working on ‘specific fitness pointers’ that needed attention, feels Basu Shanker, the man widely held responsible for the evolution of fitness in the Indian Cricket Team.
Virat Kohli was stuck in Mumbai for five months during the Covid-19 lockdown and it was only after landing in the United Arab Emirates that he was able to hit the nets for the very first time.
Basu, who has worked with Team India since 2015, reckoned that the Indian superstar’s supreme fitness skills were not hampered during the lockdown, in fact it helped him to enhance his skill set, even though he was ‘scared’ to hit the nets after such a long period of time.
‘’He (Kohli) has come back in much better shape. He is at his best weight at the moment and his movement patterns are pretty much in sync with his best self in the past,” former India trainer Basu, who is now the strength and conditioning coach of Royal Challengers Bangalore, told PTI from Dubai,’’ Basu Shanker was quoted as saying by PTI.
“He has taken this break as an opportunity to work on all the pointers which needed attention from a physical point. I guess his motto to life is ‘Bear the cross and wear the crown’,” he added.
‘He kept it simple by just following this to the T’- Basu Shanker on Virat Kohli
Basu said that Virat Kohli was pretty specific about his meal plans during the lockdown and during his stay at home, he worked on his endurance, something that’s not possible in an otherwise packed calendar.
‘’He had the time to be very specific with his meal plans and running intervals at home. He did not have much of a choice during the lockdown and he invested on a treadmill and worked on his endurance which is otherwise not possible during a packed calendar. For ground reaction forces every now and then, he did shuttle running in his apartment which had a little space. With all these constraints the attitude stood out more than the workout,’’ he added.
“Apart from that, his customised strength work to compliment that was his mantra during the lockout. So a combination of running and strength work and he kept it simple by just following this to the T,” said Basu.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore squad have been training for a while and Basu reckoned that it is only a matter of time before they return to peak fitness.
“Since most of them have arrived in decent shape physically it’s only a matter of time they are match ready. With regards to assessing a player”s fitness – most of the workouts are a test in itself. As a coach, we have to be prudent that they tick the right boxes and drills which can be an assessment,” he said.