Shankar Basu, the conditioning coach of the Indian Cricket Team has been the backbone of the team taking fitness to a different level. He has been the main man behind India being so agile in the field bringing up new fitness test every day into the practice routines.
Basu has made it obligatory for all the players to undergo random fitness tests in an attempt to maintain the same-on-field potency throughout a series. After finishing with the respective skill-set session (batting, bowling or fielding), some or the other players even in a group at put under stringent training skills.
The Yo-Yo endurance test which has been in news before the one-day series against Sri Lanka is one the pet assignment of Basu. Reportedly, Yuvraj Singh recently failed to pass this test before the team selection. Dhawan has already been spotted going through this test twice on this tour, once with Ravichandran Ashwin and Cheteshwar Pujara ahead of the second test in Colombo, and then before the first ODI alongside Kohli and KL Rahul. Former India captain MS Dhoni also went through this test.
Calling this fitness arrangement a fair call by the coaching staffs, Dhawan said, “The fitness aspect has always been there. It is just that it is now more in prominence because it is very important that everyone in the team should be at the same level of fitness. This is because fitness is a major part in all three departments. One moment of poor fielding can change the momentum of the game,”
After his match-winning knock in the first ODI, the opener said, “It is something seen not just in Indian cricket but also every other cricket team like Australia, England, etc. They all have fitness parameters, and now, so do us,”
Talking about the positives of this new fitness regime Dhawan applauded the selectors and the team management for considering this as the main criteria for the team selection as the team has a good bench strength.
“We have got good players. If one goes, there is always another player (to take up that spot), so we can afford to look at this aspect. There has to be a balance. If we don’t have a backup player of same ability, then we know that we cover it (fitness levels) up a little bit. Now, we know that we have that (great bench strength) so why not put more responsibility on the players who can come up and do a job for the team,” the southpaw concluded.