Maharashtra team hits gym for new season

Omkar Paranjape
Friday, 11 August 2017

“Cricket is one of those sports that requires endurance. You’re often out there in 35 degree heat for five hours at a stretch, bowling against a team that is battering you, and you have to stay strong mentally and physically to win the situation over. The slightest lapse could end you,” Dr Joshi said, explaining the importance of high fitness levels for the current crop of players.

PUNE: Gone are the days when the game of cricket was more of a languid state of affairs with slow, monotonous overs being bowled throughout the day. Indian cricket, has had a face-lift in recent past in terms of ultra-fit cricketers--reflecting in stupendous on-field success. 

The Maharashtra Ranji team too has hit the ground with the players flocking the gymnasium ahead of the 2017-18 Ranji season under the watchful eye of head coach Surendra Bhave and team Physio Dr Abhishek Joshi.

The players attended fitness and conditioning camp held at PYC with physio Dr Abhishek Joshi emphasising the importance of fettle players even in domestic circuits.

“Cricket is one of those sports that requires endurance. You’re often out there in 35 degree heat for five hours at a stretch, bowling against a team that is battering you, and you have to stay strong mentally and physically to win the situation over. The slightest lapse could end you,” Dr Joshi said, explaining the importance of high fitness levels for the current crop of players. 

Earlier, exercise and fitness regimen was restricted to a pre-game warm up and a couple of laps around the ground before the nets--well no more.

“As a player reports from an off-season, we have to evaluate their fitness with different levels of tests and gym-work. We monitor their progress on weekly basis in a way to get them match-ready as the season beckons,” Joshi further added. 

Joshi has been working with the Maharashtra Ranji team for 14 years and acknowledges that change in players’  mindset about fitness is one of the key anecdotes of Indian cricket’s success story in the new millennium.

The experience of working with Indian team physio Patrick Farhart at the NCA in Bengaluru during the off-season would be a useful value addition in Joshi’s CV and he rightly says fitness is slowly becoming as important as talent.

PHYSIOTHERAPISTS WORKING IN TANDEM WITH..
VIDEO ANALYST
Playing long sessions up to five days at a stretch require more of endurance and this is where the Video analysts play a role. Their inputs on the bio-feed of every player or the root cause of any specific injury helps a physio to train a cricketer as per the requirement, giving him every chance to prevent injuries and manage workload more effectively. This enables the players to give maximum effort. 

PLAYERS
Along with the skill set and training methods, today’s cricketers also possesses a different mindset through which they approach the game. To stay at par with the super-fit athletes that play the game, fitness is slowly becoming as important as talent. We also have player specific plans per se we have to train a batsman to running that he does between the wickets or help a bowler in his run-up or a wicketkeeper with his hand movements.

THE DIETITIANS
With a high quality support staff in place, players get customised dietary plans based on their physique and workload. A fast bowler like Anupam Sanklecha, requires high protein and fiber in his diet. Similarly, the batsmen too go for high-carbohydrate diets that help them maintain their energy levels to sustain long playing periods. As a Physio I have to monitor that so that the players remain energetic during matches.

Having fit players in a cricket team is a prerequisite these days and I was pleasantly surprised to know that 90% of the squad was working out during the off-season.
–Surendra Bhave (Maharashtra Ranji Team coach)

It has almost become mandatory for cricketers to be athletes first. There’s so much depth in quality in National setups that we need to enhance additional skills and fitness levels.
–Swapnil Gugale (Maharashtra Ranji team opener)

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