Virat Kohli abdicated his favourite butter chicken and mutton rolls to maintain fitness
by Arya Author
Published - Jan 18, 2017 12:30 pm | Updated - Jan 18, 2017 1:45 pm
After a brilliant run chase in the 1st ODI against England at Pune, Man of the Match Kedar Jadhav was asked whether it was tough to run with Virat Kohli. Kedar without any hesitation said yes and went on to add that he has to work on his fitness a lot more to come to terms with Kohli and accept his challenges while batting with him. Kohli said at the post-match presentation that he didn’t want Kedar to become complacent as he feels he is a special cricketer with a special talent.
This was just to give a brief idea about the benchmarks which Kohli sets for his teammates. He has been the fittest guy around and he has everything possible to keep his body in the best of shapes. But as we say who remembers the past and the amount of hard work which went behind the making of a fit and healthy Kohli from a cute chubby teenager. As the world looks in awe of his physical transformation in the last few years, Kohli’s childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma recalled the days when Kohli’s staple diet used to be chicken, Kathi rolls and mutton rolls.
As the world admires Kohli’s fitness regime and works ethics, Rajkumar Sharma admires the sacrifices Kohli has done in order to reach the pinnacle. Speaking to the Cricket Next, Sharma said that as captain Kohli always wants to set the best example as he feels his team will get complacent if he doesn’t lead from the front. “Kohli once told me, if I don’t set the benchmark as captain, who else will? Even as the world looks on in wonder, I know the boy behind the man. He used to gorge on butter chicken, rolls and all sorts of fast food. But today, it finds no place in his diet.
“In fact, he is so particular about his diet, that even when he comes over to my place, he won’t have packaged juices. You either give him fresh fruit juice or you don’t. Carbs are a strict no-no and there are no binge days in his routine anymore,” he revealed.
But for Rajkumar more than the diet and fitness regime, it’s the dedication of Kohli which he is very proud of. “See, it is easy to do these things for a short or particular span of time. But to make it a constant routine and lifestyle is what makes me proud. The kind of sacrifices he has made at this young age is something that even we can’t at our age.
“It takes a lot of devotion and focus to restructure your lifestyle to this extent. He has cut down on carbs and doesn’t even have rotis now. It is either grilled or boiled food for him. Even his coffee is without sugar and definitely no packaged juices for him,” he said.
When asked about the reason behind this transformation from a talented youngster to a run machine, Rajkumar doesn’t want to credit himself alone and feels the trainers should also be given due credit for making him the fittest cricketers around.
“I would be lying if I take all the credit for this. Yes, I did suggest working out for a couple of hours and maintaining discipline, but credit also goes to the trainers in the team as they made him further believe the importance of physical fitness and its direct effect on the game.
“In the last two or three years, he has taken fitness and his eating habits to a different level. He takes it so seriously that he got a gym built in his new house. He has this belief that fitness is very important if you have to succeed in international cricket. And his only goal in life is to keep raising the bar,” he said.
Rajkumar concluded by saying that talent was never a problem with Kohli before and it is only the rigorous fitness regime which he has followed for the last couple of years that has made him the cricketer he is today.
“Talent was never a problem with Kohli, but then, the effect of the gruelling fitness regime is that he has more stamina and can keep picking the singles and doubles and turn the singles into doubles. He doesn’t tire down and hence the need to play risky shots go out of the equation. Whatever be his work schedule or travel scene, he always finds time to hit the gym.”