Former Indian skipper Virat Kohli has always been known for his keenness toward promoting the fitness culture in the Indian cricket team. He started taking it seriously very early in his international career and the same rubbed off on his teammates as well.
Someone who worked closely with Virat Kohli was the RCB Strength and Conditioning coach Basu Shanker. He spoke about how he first met him in 2009 when Kohli was like every other North Indian boy. He then shared his story from 2014 when he complained to him of a stiff back and then started training and took fitness seriously.
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Talking about Kohli’s drastic change in fitness in the RCB podcast Season 2 Basu Shanker gave all the details as to how the former Indian cricketer made changes to his fitness and went onto become one of the fittest cricketers to play the game.
“The onus of this change (passion for fitness) is on Virat. I have been seeing him since 2009. In 2014, he said he has a stiff back and can you do something about it? It was only for six weeks and we could not do much then. But in 2015, he said you should do a bigger role. So, I told him we will make a template for you and I will have to make drastic changes to the training that you are doing now. He asked a lot of technical questions and after several conversations back and forth, he said: ‘Ok let’s start,’ said Basu.
Virat Kohli Told Me To Treat Him Like An Athlete: Basu Shanker
Basu Shanker then revealed how he gave an example of tennis star Novak Djokovic and asked Kohli to train like an athlete. He then revealed that he was surprised to see Kohli’s discipline for his fitness despite training various other athletes.
“Virat has seen me training Deepika Pallikal (India squash player and the wife of Dinesh Karthik) and that time she was in the top 10. So, Kohli told me don’t treat me like a cricketer and work with me like an individual athlete. So, I told him you will have to train like an Olympic athlete and I used to quote Novak Djokovic to him then. I am not tired of telling this but I have never ever seen a guy like Virat Kohli. He can do the simple, most boring things of life every day and it does not matter whether he is performing or not (on the field). But that zeal and extraordinary passion towards excellence is mind-boggling. It helped me put across my syllabus to him,” said Basu.
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Virender Sehwag Crticises Basu Shanker’s Fitness Routine
Recently former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag criticized Shanker for following a strict fitness routine for all the cricketers in the team making them prone to injury. His words came after Shreyas Iyer aggravated his lower-back injury and was ruled out of the ODI series against Australia. Sehwag recalled one of his interactions with Ravichandran Ashwin when he was the team mentor of Punjab Kings.
“Basu Shanker was with the Indian team for a lot of years, and he made the same programs for all players. Why should there be the same program for Ravichandran Ashwin and Virat Kohli? When Ashwin was with the Kings XI Punjab, he told me he was doing clean-and-jerk workouts because it was in trend,” Sehwag said on TRS Clips.
Also Read: IND vs AUS: “Not Everyone Is Virat Kohli”-Virender Sehwag Criticises Indian Cricketers’ Obsession With Intense Fitness Training Sessions
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