Virat Kohli came back in “much better shape” after COVID-19 Breat: Shanker Basu


Basu Shanker, the man responsible for the national team’s fitness transformation, thinks India and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli has returned from the long hiatus as an even fitter athlete after working on “specific physical points” that needed attention. Kohli was stuck in Mumbai for five months due to the coronavirus-enforced lockdown and only got his first real hit in the nets after arriving in the UAE for the Indian Premier League in early September 19.

However, he made sure that his excellent condition was not affected during the break and it actually helped him skilfully when he got back into action, even though he was “afraid” of hitting the nets.

“He (Kohli) has come back in much better form. He is at his best weight right now and his movement patterns are more or less in line with his best self in the past,” said former India trainer Basu, who now has the strength. is. and conditioning coach from Royal Challengers Bangalore, said PTI from Dubai.

“He’s taken this break as an opportunity to work on all the points that need attention from a physical point. I think his motto is ‘Wear the cross and wear the crown’,” said the man who worked with the Indian team. between 2015 and 2019.

He has worked extensively with Kohli both at RCB and during his time with the Indian team.

Basu said Kohli was able to work on things an international cricketer finds difficult to do on a busy schedule.

“He had time to be very specific with his meal plans and running intervals at home. He didn’t have much choice during lockdown and he invested in a treadmill and worked on his stamina, which is not otherwise possible on a full calendar.

“For ground reaction forces, he occasionally drove a shuttle into his apartment, which had a little space. With all these limitations, the attitude stood out more than the training.”

“Aside from that, his custom force work as a compliment 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 RCB team has been training for a week now and Basu said it is only a matter of time before the players are ready for the game.

“Since most of them arrived in good physical shape, it is only a matter of time before they are ready for the game.”

“With regard to assessing a player’s fitness – most training is a test in itself. As a coach, we have to be careful that they tick the right boxes and do exercises that can be an assessment,” he said.

“The coaching director (Mike Hesson) and the head coach (Simon Katich) and the entire support group are aware of a lengthy layoff and ergo planning regarding the length of exercise times, humidity, temperature and recovery is something we have worked on as a team, ”said Basu.

“There is no foolproof algorithm for this, but a sensible approach is what we get into.”

All teams gradually increase the intensity of the practice sessions as players and especially fast bowlers are more prone to injuries that come back after probably the longest hiatus in their career.

Basu said the pacers’ workloads will be carefully monitored during the IPL.

“Our bowling coach (Adam Griffith) has come up with a specific plan for loads in the first 2 weeks and it will be used as a blueprint,” he said.

“The players have done a lot of fitness work and complimenting the skills and choosing the right exercises to get the balance will give much-needed impetus to any bowler,” said Basu.

“Most everyone had access to the gym (at least at home), so we won’t worry about that at all,” he said.

The players are getting used to the extremely hot conditions in the UAE and a good recovery and diet will go a long way in keeping them in top shape throughout the 53-day tournament.

“The modern cricketers are very aware of their meal plans. Hydration, balanced protein, carbohydrates and good fat will do the trick and fight the heat – again we have our wellness and load control system that will be put to good use,” said Basu when he was appointed asked about the recommended diet under the prevailing circumstances.


While uncertainty threatened to grow during the lockdown, Basu kept in touch with the RCB players after offering them a modified fitness program.

“We weren’t sure of anything then. We just made sure everyone had a tailor-made program based on the equipment they had at their respective homes and kudos to the guys for approaching it diligently,” he added.

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