Ramji Srinivasan: The man who keeps Tamil Nadu fit

The 48-year-old Ramji Srinivasan has played a significant role in Tamil Nadu’s success by keeping the cricketers up and running in a gruelling season.

“I was with the Indian cricket team for five years. Let me tell you, Tamil Nadu’s schedule this season was tougher than that of the Indian team.”   -  S. Dinakar

Ramji Srinivasan is an old hand at strength and conditioning with an eye for new training methods.

It was a largely successful year for the Tamil Nadu team – the side reached the semifinals of the Ranji Trophy and won the Vijay Hazare and Deodhar Trophy one-day tournaments.

The 48-year-old Ramji has played a significant role in Tamil Nadu’s resurgence by keeping the cricketers up and running in a gruelling season.

Ramji said, “I was with the Indian cricket team for five years. Let me tell you, Tamil Nadu’s schedule this season was tougher than that of the Indian team.”

Taking time off from his busy sessions at the Quantum Leap Performance Centre that he runs, Ramji told Sportstar, “Tamil Nadu started the season in October and finished in March. It was six months of almost non-stop cricket across formats and our boys stood the test extremely well.”

After a three-year break from cricket – he kept himself busy with motor sports – Ramji journeyed back to cricket and the Tamil Nadu team and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

He said, “We had programmes and drills that were skill specific. For instance, the focus was on reaction time, speed and agility for batsmen. For spinners, it was a lot about strength and endurance, scapular stability and enhancing the flexibility of wrists and fingers.”

Ramji added, “In the case of pacemen, we worked on strength and stability of glutes, functional core training and explosive power.”

The side followed a highly specialised training protocol. “We planned according to the schedule, venue, travel, weather and the kind of opposition we were taking on,” said Ramji,

Perhaps, the highlight for Tamil Nadu was how well its pace trio of Aswin Crist, K. Vignesh and T. Natarajan bowled together for most of the Ranji season.

Given the back-breaking series of matches across the country, this was an outstanding achievement for the fitness team.

Ramji said, “We had a good recovery protocol for pacemen, which was both active and passive in nature. It comprised, yoga, stretching routines, aqua sessions and massages.”

Weight training, he felt, should be used judiciously. “Doing weights can be beneficial but we have to be careful. In the entire season, we had only six sessions of weight training.”

Ramji was emphatic that he could not have accomplished the successes on the fitness front alone. “We worked as a team, in tandem with physio Tulasi, coach Hrishikesh Kanitkar and bowling coach L. Balaji.”

Senior cricketers Abhinav Mukund and Dinesh Karthik were role models, Ramji said, and thanked the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association for all its support.

Next season, he plans to raise the fitness bar for the side. “The targets will be even higher,” said Ramji.