Cricket is a far too different contest today than it ever was. Yes, at the face of it, the rules are pretty much the same and the odds are what they were. You score more and if you bowl well, you win. It’s that. And hasn’t changed. But think of it more closely. No longer is the game just about the batsman who hits the best shots or the most number of runs. The same way, it’s not just about the bowler who ends with the least runs and most wickets against his name.
Well, not that alone- right?
The dynamics of the contest have changed. Fitness is such an incredibly important and definitive factor in today’s cricket probably it’s ever been. So much so that the very game that birthed some of the most commanding names in the past has also birthed concepts and terminologies that hold the key to a player’s selection.
Had that not been the case, then we may never have seen a thing called ‘Yo-Yo’ test, right?
But today, where the Indian National cricket team is concerned, it’s an irreplaceable paradigm. And the one man in whose physical fitness, there’s emerged a sort of unspoken but ultimate benchmark for so many other players around is the Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli.
In fact, so respected is this great batsman that he’s not only admired for his excellent and timeless batting but also for his unwavering standards of physical fitness that have quite simply elevated him to a pedestal on which hitherto one found only Basketball or Soccer players, or at the most, motorsports figures.
Not so much cricket!
But then Virat Kohli is a beast of sorts! He can go without scoring on a certain day, but it just can’t be that he goes minus exercising.
And recently, he came in the good books of Bangladesh’s opening batsman Tamim Iqbal, someone who’s a scorer of over 11,000 runs.
So what did Tamim Iqbal have to say about the fitness enthusiast Virat Kohli and was there a candid confession there?
“I have no shame in admitting this, when I saw Virat Kohli running around two-three years ago, I was ashamed of myself, I thought this is a guy who is probably my age, but he is training so much and I have not doing even half of it.”
The above confession was made by Tamim Iqbal during a video interaction with commentator Sanjay Manjrekar.
But importantly, Tamim Iqbal, who’s often had to face the brunt of unforeseen injuries and has had to sit out of major tournaments, also cleared the air regarding his unbending admiration for the belligerent right-hander.
He would further add- “I must say this, it is not because I am talking to an Indian commentator, India is our neighbour so whatever things they do, it affects Bangladesh as well. We follow what is happening in India, when India changed its approach towards fitness, it impacted Bangladesh the most.”
Well, what can one say? Virat Kohli sir, you’ve quite simply, raised the game to a level that others are often finding themselves in a spot of bother. Never before has fitness seemed so eternally important to the game than before. And you’ve got to be credited with bringing about a revolution of sorts!