'I used to quote Novak Djokovic to him' - RCB's S&C coach Basu Shanker extols Virat Kohli's dedication towards fitness

"I told him you will have to train like an Olympic athlete and I used to quote Novak Djokovic to him then," said Basu.

Novak Djokovic and Virat Kohli
Novak Djokovic and Virat Kohli. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Koustav Sengupta
Koustav Sengupta

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Royal Challengers Bangalore’s strength and conditioning coach Basu Shanker lauded Virat Kohli for his sheer dedication and passion for fitness. Notably, he is working on his fitness for quite a long time now and also is known for bringing a fitness revolution to Indian cricket. During his stint as the captain of the national team, Kohli never entertained unfit cricketers, which spoke volumes about how important a players' fitness was to him.

Now talking about the cricketer, Basu revealed that in 2015, when Kohli was suffering from a stiff back, he changed his fitness training and soon the 34-year-old found his mojo back. The S&C coach also revealed the time when Kohli asked not to treat him like a cricketer but like an individual athlete.

“The onus of this change (passion for fitness) is on Virat. I have been seeing him since 2009. In 2014, he said he has a stiff back and can you do something about it? It was only for six weeks and we could not do much then. But in 2015, he said you should do a bigger role. So, I told him we will make a template for you and I will have to make drastic changes to the training that you are doing now. He asked a lot of technical questions and after several conversations back and forth, he said: ‘Ok let’s start'," Basu said in RCB podcast season 2.

Basu also talked about how he used to give the example of tennis star Novak Djokovic and advised Kohli to train like an Olympic athlete. Now even though the trainer has worked with a lot of athletes in the past, he was very impressed with Kohli’s ethics and commitment towards fitness.

“Virat has seen me training Deepika Pallikal (India squash player) and that time she was in the top 10. So, Kohli told me don’t treat me like a cricketer and work with me like an individual athlete. So, I told him you will have to train like an Olympic athlete and I used to quote Novak Djokovic to him then. I am not tired of telling this but I have never ever seen a guy like Virat Kohli. He can do the simple, most boring things of life every day and it does not matter whether he is performing or not (on the field). But that zeal and extraordinary passion towards excellence is mind-boggling. It helped me put across my syllabus to him,” he added.

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