Virat Kohli Came Back In “Much Better Shape” After COVID-19 Break: Shanker Basu


Basu Shanker, the man responsible for the fitness transformation of the national team, feels India and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli has returned from the long break an even fitter athlete after working on “particular physical pointers” that needed attention. Kohli used to be stuck in Mumbai for five months because of the coronavirus-enforced lockdown and had his first proper hit in the nets only after his arrival in the UAE for the Indian Premier League, beginning September 19.

Then again, he ensured all through the break that his supreme fitness level used to be not impacted and, if truth be told, it helped him skill-wise on his return to action although he used to be “scared” to hit the nets.

“He (Kohli) has come back in much better shape. He’s at his best weight this present day and his movement patterns are pretty much in sync with his best self previously,” former India trainer Basu, who is now the strength and conditioning coach of Royal Challengers Bangalore, told PTI from Dubai.

“He has taken this break as an possibility to work on the entire pointers which needed attention from a physical point. I guess his motto to life is ‘Bear the cross and wear the crown’,” said the man who worked with the Indian team between 2015 to 2019.

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

Basu said Kohli used to be ready to work on things which an international cricketer finds it difficult to do in a packed calendar.

“He had the time to be very particular with his meal plans and running intervals at home. He did not have much of a choice all through the lockdown and he invested on a treadmill and worked on his endurance which is differently not conceivable all through a packed calendar.

“For ground reaction forces now and again, he did travel running in his apartment which had a little space. With some of these constraints the attitude stood out more than the workout.”

“With the exception of that, his customised strength work to praise that used to be his mantra all through 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 squad has been training for a week now and Basu said it is just a matter of time before the players are match in a position.

“Since most of them have arrived in decent shape physically it is only a matter of time they’re match in a position.”

“On the subject of assessing a player’s fitness – many of the workouts are a test in itself. As a coach, we need to be prudent that they tick the correct boxes and drills which can also be an assessment,” he said.

“The coaching director (Mike Hesson) and the head coach (Simon Katich) and all the enhance group are aware of a long layoff and ergo the planning in relation to the length of practice times, humidity, temperature, and recovery is something we have worked as a team,” Basu said.

“There’s no idiot proof algorithm for it but a sensible approach is what we are treading on.”

All teams are gradually increasing the intensity of the practice sessions as players and particularly fast bowlers are more prone to injuries coming back after probably the longest break in their careers.

Basu said the pacers’ workload will be carefully monitored over the class lesson of the IPL.

“Our bowling coach (Adam Griffith) has come with a particular plan pertaining to loads in the first 2 weeks and that will be used as a blueprint,” he said.

“The players have done numerous fitness work and complimenting the skills and choosing the proper exercises to receive the balance will give you the much-needed impetus for each and every bowler,” Basu said.

“Nearly everyone had access to the gym (a minimum of in the home setting), so that won’t worry us at all,” he said.

The players are getting accustomed to the extreme hot conditions in the UAE and proper recovery and diet will go a long way in keeping them in top shape over the class lesson of the 53-day long tournament.

“The contemporary cricketers are very mindful of their meal plans. Hydration, balanced amount of protein, carbs, and good fat will do the trick and to combat the heat – again we have our wellness and load monitoring system which will be put to good use,” said Basu when asked approximately the beneficial diet plan in the prevailing conditions.


With uncertainty looming large amid the lockdown, Basu remained in touch with the RCB players after providing them a customised fitness program.

“We were not certain approximately anything then. We just ensured that everybody had a customized program based on what equipment they had at their respective homes and kudos to the boys they approached it diligently,” he added.

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