Virat Kohli’s fitness inspired Sarfaraz Khan to up his game

Sarfaraz feared that RCB will let him go. Instead, they took care of his medical expenses and his post-surgery rehabilitation.

Sarfraz Khan
Sarfaraz Khan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

When the retentions for each team were announced in early January, one of the most surprising calls by a franchise was Royal Challengers Bangalore’s retention of Sarfaraz Khan. It was unexpected because neither Yuzvendra Chahal nor KL Rahul was retained. It was also surprising because, after a memorable debut season in 2015, his next campaign was rather forgettable as he was dropped after five games for his poor fielding and lack of fitness.

In 2017, he missed the whole edition due to an injury he picked during a practice game for RCB. So his retention, for Rs 1.75 crore, was not widely expected even though it made a lot of economic sense in hindsight. However, Sarfaraz did not expect the retention himself.

“I didn’t think I was going to be retained. But when I got a call from them, I obviously said yes. Playing under Virat (Kohli) bhai is something else,” he was quoted as saying by Sportstar.

Fitness culture

One of the reasons his place in the RCB squad was uncertain was his lack of fitness, Sarfaraz dedicated his time to get fit after recovering from his surgery post-injury. He mentions that his inspiration to achieve his fitness goals is his skipper Virat Kohli himself who has encouraged the fitness culture in the Indian cricket team as well.

“Virat bhai tho alag hee level ke hain. His timetable is completely different from that of us normal players – his gym-work, his diet, his batting, everything. Virat bhai has so many commitments: so many ads to shoot, so much to sign. On top of that, the tension of captaining the side, picking the team. But there is never a dip in his performance. So how strong must he be mentally?” the youngster added.

Adopting the lifestyle

He was quick to admit that he had ignored fitness-training for a long time and added that he had a hard time staying away from sweets and junk food until a couple of years ago. He was heavier than was desirable and was clearly told so. But the 2016 IPL edition when Sarfaraz was benched three weeks into IPL season was an eye-opener for him.

“I was dropped because of my misfields and my fitness,” he said.

While his initial training lacked the awareness about the importance of fitness, his time in the IPL helped him adopt a healthy lifestyle. Since then, he has made sure he too has a time-table like his inspiration and captain Kohli.

 

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