We Indian captain, Virat Kohli is one of the fittest cricketers in the world. In the last couple of years, he had inspired many young Indian cricketers to work hard on their fitness in order to be able to play all the three formats of the game consistently.
Keeping in sync with Virat Kohli’s uncompromising training regimen, the Indian cricketers are now undergoing DNA test that reveals the genetic fitness blueprint of an individual, raising the bar to a level hitherto unseen.
Recently, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) made Yo-Yo fitness test mandatory for selection and veteran cricketers like Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina suffered because of their lack of fitness.
The test helps a sportsman improve his speed, in fat burning, endurance, recovery time, and muscle building. It has been learned that the BCCI has introduced this test on the recommendation of team trainer Shankar Basu so that a more comprehensive fitness program for the national team can be chalked out.
The DNA test, or, genetic fitness test, gives an idea of how 40 plus genes are related to a person’s fitness, health, and nutrition. Each cricketer’s DNA data is then combined with the environmental data which is the individual’s body weight and diet, for an all-around analysis.
“Yes, we have started the DNA test for the Indian cricket team for some time now. It is basically in line with the new fitness parameters, which has been set by the team management. The DNA test was first introduced in the NBA (basketball) and the NFL in the United States.
He also added that BCCI spends between Rs 25000 to Rs 30000 on each player for this test.
“The idea was mooted by Shankar Basu and it has proved to be extremely beneficial. For conducting each and every player’s test, the BCCI spends between Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000 which is a nominal amount,” a senior BCCI official told PTI on the condition of anonymity.
Earlier, the Indian cricket team used to undergo Skinfold Test for body fat measure percentage and then switched to DEXA test. “Skinfold test was used primarily for a long time but it was found out that results related to body fat percentage were not accurate enough. Then there was a switch to DEXA test for calculation of body fat percentage.
“The DNA test is being done so that the body’s needs are known to maintain a particular fat percentage,” the official, who is aware of the module, further added. He also pointed out some of the mistakes cricketers have been making.
“Some of them are having the copious amount of milk since childhood as it is a common belief that milk gives you strength. Then they found out that despite training, their body is not able to measure up to the demands of the modern-day game. When this test started, some players understood that they are lactose intolerant or some who have craving for mutton biryani know what their body needs after eating a particular kind of food,” he added.
One of the players whose strength and stamina has tremendously improved has been pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has been consistently playing ODI and T20 Internationals. Since the start of Champions Trophy, Bhuvneshwar has played 19 ODIs and 7 T20 Internationals, purely because of a new fitness routine that was prepared after getting his genetic fitness report.