With one eye on World Cups, Indian players begin work on enhancing fitness levels at the NCA
Atleast 25 players are in Bengaluru to establish their baseline fitness levels before the IPL gets underway
In a move to enhance and maintain peak fitness levels for the two World Cups in the next 20 months, the Indian team management – in coordination with the selectors and the National Cricket Academy – has asked a batch of shortlisted players to undergo a fitness camp in Bengaluru.
Among those who have already started with the camp include Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shardul Thakur, Harshal Patel, Venkatesh Iyer, Sanju Samson, Deepak Hooda, Varun Chakravarthy, Washington Sundar, Prithvi Shaw and Umran Malik. Also joining the camp are a set of players who are doing rehabilitation for separate injuries: KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ishan Kishan. Several players, who featured in the league phase of the Ranji Trophy, which got over recently, also joined the camp this week.
This year, though, the basis for the camp is to log in the fitness parameters for each player which then can be stored in a central database and can be accessed anytime by the Indian coaching staff including the physio, trainers and strength and conditioning coaches. Creating such a standardised structure, the BCCI believes, will prove vital as India prepare for the T20 World Cup (scheduled in Australia in October-November this year) as well as the ODI World Cup, which will be hosted in India in late 2023.
Part of that process would be to establish a baseline fitness level for each individual which will then be monitored and updated frequently. The baseline is established by making a player undergo various fitness drills including performing standing long jump, 2 kilometre time trial, yo-yo test, Dexa body scan (to measure fat percentage and lean muscle mass) as well various other tests.
While there are some markers put in place – like the 17:1 level for yo-yo tests and running the 2 kilometre time trial inside 8 minutes 30 seconds – players this time have been encouraged to push themselves if they want to without any pressure. The baseline figure will be recorded once the player takes the test before the leaves the camp. Thereafter the player’s fitness parameters would be measured against this baseline figure and how he is able to maintain under the workload.
Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo