Virat Kohli and fitness first!

Royal Challengers Bangalore physio Evan Speechly, who saw Kohli’s transformation from 2012, feels working with elite athletes makes the job easy.

India and Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli (right) with team physio Evan Speechly during a training session.   -  G.P. SAMPATH KUMAR

 

Virat Kohli’s effortless 22-yard sprint in the 2016 World T20 quarterfinal against Australia, the spotless dives while fielding and the incredible catching every now and then are images that now attest to the Indian skipper’s fitness and hunger to perform.

The 29-year-old’s transformative phase, which saw him lose about “11 kg in eight months”, came after a lean Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2012.

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That year, Kohli could only manage 364 runs from 16 games at a mediocre average of 28. Kohli had two fifties under his belt and no centuries to flaunt. And as the story goes, he looked at himself in the mirror and said ‘you can’t look like this if you want to be a professional cricketer.”’

But today, Kohli has been labelled as “the fittest player in the Indian team” by Royal Challengers Bangalore team physio Evan Speechly.

"He is, without a doubt, the fittest and hardest working sportsman I have ever had the pleasure of working with," Speechly told Sportstar.

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"Virat keeps himself in the best physical condition, and being with the Indian team, he has a top physiotherapist and trainer working with him," he added.

Speechly, who was with Team India between October 2011 and February 2013, reckons, "working with elite athletes definitely makes our job easy."

"They never pick up major soft tissue injuries like we see in “weekend warriors”, but are finely tuned athletes that pick-up niggles, not complete muscle tears for example.”

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