Cricket in its latest incarnation is one of the most gruelling sports on the face of the planet. An ever-demanding hungry monster that needs the topmost fitness levels to deliver day in day out. A few exceptions have always been there but those players have compensated for the lost physique with some tremendous gifts, call it an extraordinary sense of timing, a will forged by the Gods themselves, an eye for the invisible and most importantly innate flair of leadership.
However, going by the norm of current cricketing standards, cricketers have fought their way up the pecking order through years of dedicated diligence and tenacity. We will look at five cricketers who have gone through the blazes in order to keep themselves fit after making their international debut.
- Virat Kohli
One of the finest international cricketers at the moment, Virat Kohli gave up his little joys to attain his current standard of fitness. A chubby lad at one point in time, who used to follow a much-disrupted routine that questioned his fitness, had a massive revelation drawing on himself while taking a bath one fine morning.
He decided to undergo a total paradigm shift in order to attain the pinnacle of fitness and he let go of all of his unhealthy habits. He started hitting the gym regularly for one and a half hours which was followed by a diet that was strictly against gluten, wheat, cold drinks and desserts.
His agility in the field makes us envy the Indian captain and realize that how much we lag in the race to supreme fitness.
- Hardik Pandya
Fitness isn’t always about bulky muscles and flexing those big guns. At times it also comes down to your adaptability and flexibility that catapults you to the top of the fitness charts. Pandya is one such cricketer who isn’t about a burly muscular stature. He is more of a lissome cricketer with some top-end agility on the pitch.
The convalescence period which was taken by Pandya to recuperate from his injury was far less than anticipated and this was only possible because of his sheer willpower and an added level of fitness.
From being nobody due to an under-grown physique, Pandya evolved into one of the fittest cricketers to become one of India’s most indispensable all-rounders.
- David Warner
Warner is currently one of the most dangerous openers in any format of the game and his story of punching an English cricketer in the bar broke out through the ranks like wildfire. Post that tragic incident, his fitness came apart at the seams as he was barely able to put himself in a piece.
As the saying goes, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” and Warner is one of the epitomes of being tough in international cricket. Instead of giving up, he started working harder.
His regular workouts in the gym that focused more on his wrists that has laid waste to multiple oppositions and his quads that plays a crucial role in him withstanding anything in the field, Warner kept on raising his own bar.
His fitness trainer, Wayne Geber said about him, “Fitness-wise, it was very easy to spot that he was an A-grade athlete. He had the speed and power that only special athletes possess. Endurance wise he did not have the miles in his body that he has now.”
- Steven Smith
Showed in the Amazon Prime video of “The Test: A new era for Australia’s team” that the former Australia captain loved to bat. He would have batted at any point, at any place and kept on shadow-batting when he didn’t have the bat in his hands.
Such premium dedication comes with premium fitness and Steven Smith, a man who has also received his training in baseball for his previous proclivity towards the game is currently Australia’s best batsman.
For his tireless batting in the preceding edition of Ashes, Smith exemplified the kind of resilience and adaptability that the Australian possessed in that lissome shell of his own.
His fielding prowess has always been talked about in the entire cricketing circuit. That extreme piece of fielding in the boundary in the colours of Pune Warriors India in IPL attested to his inhuman brilliance in terms of fitness.
- James Anderson
Maintaining the same physique and that too for a fast bowler who undertakes an unparalleled workload on his shoulders isn’t a cinch. Anderson has been the exact same right since his very debut in international cricket. With the amount of stress which he has sustained in his decorated and yet reticent cricketing career, Anderson still continues to generate the same amount of blistering pace which he has done over the years.
In one of the recently conducted interviews before the world headed into an unprecedented lockdown, Anderson, how brushing his teeth hurts his shoulder these days which has worn over the years with extreme bowling conditions. Despite all of it, he hasn’t shied away from the game even for a bit and still carries on with his lethal reverse-swing raging at 145 plus kays on a regular basis.