With one eye on World Cups, Indian players start working on improving their fitness level at the NCA

At least 25 players are in Bengaluru to establish their basic fitness before the IPL starts

In an effort to improve and maintain top condition for the two World Cups over the next 20 months, the Indian team management – in consultation with the selectors and the National Cricket Academy – has asked a group of shortlisted players to host a fitness camp. undergone in Bengaluru.

ESPNcricinfo has learned that there are now at least 25 players in the NCA, currently halfway through the camp that started on March 5 and will end on March 14, after which they will join their respective IPL teams. All players will undergo a fitness test before leaving camp, but unlike last year when it was required to clear the benchmarks, this time it is to record a baseline for each player.

Among those who have already started the camp are Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shardul Thakur, Harshal Patel, Venkatesh Iyer, Sanju Samson, Deepak Hooda, Varun Chakravarthy, Washington Sundar, Prithvi Shaw and Umran Malik. A number of players will also join the camp who are recovering from various injuries: KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ishan Kishan. Several players, who took part in the Ranji Trophy’s competition phase, which recently concluded, also took part in the camp this week.

It is learned that the camp was recently completed by both the Indian team management led by head coach Rahul Dravid and had the support of both the roster panel and NCA, which is led by former Indian batter VVS Laxman. Both Dravid and Laxman want the NCA to function more like a high-performance center, and this camp continued the initiative launched last year when a group of white-ball players – both contracted and otherwise – underwent fitness tests that were required to be deleted. Last year, players had to either take the yo-yo test or run a 2-kilometer time trial.

This year, however, the foundation for the camp is to log the fitness parameters for each player, which can then be stored in a central database and accessible at any time to the Indian coaching staff, including the physio, trainers and strength and conditioning coaches. . Creating such a standardized structure will be vital, according to the BCCI, as India prepares for the T20 World Cup (scheduled in Australia in October-November this year) and the ODI World Cup, which will take place in India at the end of 2023.

Part of that process would be to establish a baseline fitness level for each individual, which will then be monitored and updated regularly. The baseline is established by having a player undergo various fitness exercises including standing long jump, 2-kilometer time trial, yo-yo test, Dexa body scan (to measure body fat percentage and muscle mass) and several other tests.

While there were some markings – such as the 17:1 level for yo-yo testing and running the 2K time trial in 8 minutes 30 seconds – players were encouraged this time to push themselves if they wish without any pressure . The baseline figure is recorded as soon as the player takes the test before leaving the camp. After that, the player’s fitness parameters would be measured by this base figure and how he can maintain himself under the workload.

For example, someone playing in the upcoming IPL, which will be played between March 26 and May 29, can compare their baseline score for the tournament and at the end. This way the player can understand not only what he is good at in terms of condition, but also on vulnerable points. It also helps trainers understand where the player is peaking and spot areas for improvement.

Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo

Leave a Comment