'Prioritizing Fitness, A Huge Role Playing Game In Shami's Resurgence' > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - 'Prioritizing fitness, a massive roleplayer in Shami's resurgence'

Mohammed Shami is set to play his first game of CWC 2019 on Saturday against Afghanistan

India's strength and conditioning coach Shankar Basu revealed that failing BCCI's fitness test last year has helped fast bowler Mohammed Shami transform himself into a much more complete bowler. Shami had to miss the one-off Test against Afghanistan in June last year and was replaced by Navdeep Saini after he failed to pass the yo-yo test that was conducted to gauge the fitness of the players. Shami had blamed the results on the trauma he was undergoing in his personal life.

Since then, however, Shami has come back into the Indian side and made himself an important member in different formats. He is among the first picks in the Test side, while also finding himself a spot in the World Cup squad as a back up to Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah.

Speaking to the press on Wednesday in Southampton, Basu said Shami's failure in the fitness test (before the Afghanistan Test) was a blessing in disguise.

"(Him) failing the fitness test was a blessing in disguise. After that, he was a changed man," Basu opined. "He was so determined and I think he is also blessed with some amazing genes. We all talk about intermittent fasting, and Mohammed Shami does intermittent fasting inadvertently. He doesn't even know what it is but he does it on his own.

"I think his distribution of fat, we have done his fat testing over three years and it is the same, he is a piece of work. The best part is he has changed his entire training regimen, I think training is now part of his lifestyle which never used to be the case before. Everything has changed over the last three, four years. He wasn't the last person to get on to the bus but after that little bit of personal setbacks and failing that fitness test, he is a changed man. This is (the) 2.0 version of Mohammed Shami."

Shami finds himself in a golden crop of Indian pacers which has an impact wherever it plays. In Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Shami himself, India have bowlers who can consistenly hurry the batsmen with their pace and trouble them with movement and accuracy. Basu feels it is the validation of years of hard work put in.

"When we first started, I was always alligned with the team management and the leadership group. They wanted a fast bowling group that was good and that can go on and on. If you notice in the last one year, the proof of the pudding is there in the results. Bumrah, Shami, Ishant, Bhuvi and Umesh have all started bowling much more quicker. The reason for that is again, I wouldn't say we did any magic work, but we did consistent work... few lifestyle modifications with regards to nutrition, the way we train...

"And we got this GPS last year. We started using this GPS more succinctly, because it gives you data that is of immense value. So based on that we started understanding our training methodology a lot more. And based on that we started preparing our schedule accordingly. And all this has helped our fast bowlers bowling more than 140, 145 clicks consistently.

"Even in Test matches if you notice that, even in the last Test match the last spell, people bowled 140-plus. This did not happen overnight. It was consistent training, rather than any rocket research. And we made it a point, in 2015, that people train regularly. Just like batting, bowling and fielding, the new skill was fitness. And fitness was not just a ticking box. We had to take it very seriously. The captain and the coach wanted to use fitness as a vehicle. And my job was to augment that process. And all I did was to make it a point that, this was another facet of the sport, and where we had to train like Olympic athletes. Just not like any other person, 'Okay I'll come for this camp, train for 10-15 days and then I'll take a break'. It has become a lifestyle, and I think once it has become a lifestyle, the results are there for you to see," Basu added.

Basu delved deeper into how the players have modified their lifestyles.

"The human body has a particular sort of sleep-wake cycle. And what happens is during the IPL, whether you like it or not, the boys take a beating. I would also say that this World Cup preparation was critical with the IPL preceding it. We used to say jokingly that the IPL is sort of Mt Everest, then we come to the base camp and then we are coming to Kilimanjaro here. What happens is that during the IPL, the boys start sleeping invariably late - 2 o'clock, 3 o'clock. To get them back to sleeping early and to get them back to a training regimen was sort of a challenge and we had only eight days to come here.

"Since the boys have done it over the last four years, they quickly understand the value of sleep-wake cycle, good nutrition programme, supplements, training, strength work, conditioning, warm-ups - I can go on and on till the cows come back home. To answer your question about lifestyle modification, It is training, sleep-wake cycle and nutrition. These are the three hallmarks of a professional athlete. I think there is a huge buy-in for this within the Indian team and the results are there for everyone to see now. As soon as you get on to the field, everyone is down and running. It is not a school team where you do a typical army drill. They all do their own personal stuff, they all know their bodies very well and it is very very unique."

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