‘More than half of our team failed’ – Virender Sehwag recalls a fitness saga from India’s 2011 tour of England
Back then, Sehwag and the other Indian players were impressed with how the English county teams prioritised fitness.
Updated - Mar 18, 2021 9:54 am
Virender Sehwag, the former Indian cricketer, narrated an incident from India’s tour of England back in 2011, surrounding the talks over fitness standards. Virat Kohli was a part of the campaign, though he didn’t play the Test series. Virat has set the benchmark high regarding the fitness levels of cricketers and has mostly topped the charts in the yo-yo and other rigorous tests.
On fitness, the Delhi-born Sehwag stated that the county teams had a chart where details of the players’ fitness were given. When the Indian players, back then, tried to replicate the same, more than half of the them faltered.
“I last toured England in 2011/12 to play two Test matches. I played one match at The Oval and one in Birmingham. All the county teams that are there, have a chart in their dressing rooms that demonstrate the standards of fitness. I think the fitness standards of this current Indian team have been picked from there,” Sehwag was quoted as saying on Cricbuzz.
If England had that standard in fitness, we should too: Virender Sehwag
“I’m saying it because back then even we were impressed with it. This much should be the weight, the mobility, the flexibility, and so on. When we tried doing it, more than half of our team failed in those tests in 2011/12,” he stated.
Over the last couple of years or so, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has made the yo-yo test a criterion for selection in the national team. Kohli, the Indian skipper, has also iterated the importance of staying fit in order to survive the rigours of international cricket.
“So I think that is what Virat Kohli has picked. If England had that standard in fitness, we should too. And ever since he’s taken over as captain, he’s stressed enough on fitness that certain tests should be cleared,” Sehwag added.
Kohli’s Men in Blue are currently busy playing in the T20I series against Eoin Morgan’s Brits. Prior to the series, Varun Chakravarthy, the Tamil Nadu spinner, failed the fitness test multiple times. He was a recipient of severe backlash after he couldn’t make the cut.