Basu says Kohli hasn't had a cheat day in 2 yrs
New Delhi: He came in when the Indian cricket team was "looking for a fitness culture" and former strength and conditioning coach Shankar Basu says his stint has ended with the satisfaction that none of the players would be able to "leave the regimen even if they wanted to".
The 50-year-old's four-year tenure ended with the World Cup. While Kohli was always a "freak" who has not taken a cheat day in the last two years, the Chennai-based professional is most satisfied about the transformation he has brought in the fitness levels of speedsters Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami.
"When I started it was a challenge to transform the culture, now 90 per cent of the team trains very professionally. There will always be one or two in every team who require the extra push," Basu, whose contract with the Indian team ended on July 30, said. He also worked extensively with the others including KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Ishant, Dinesh Karthik and Ravichandran Ashwin. The list goes on. Ravindra Jadeja, according to him, is a natural athlete who knows his body well and probably the best fielder in the world.
Basu decided against continuing with the Indian team due to family reasons and says it time for him to move on to the next phase in his life.
"Looking back, I came at the right juncture (in 2015). The Indian team was looking for changes and that was one of the responsibilities thrust on me, to bring about the culture. To be very honest I was very blessed with a set of boys who were looking for this change.
"When I joined I made a pact with myself that I will tirelessly work to bring in the much needed improvisations and culture to augment the team's needs. I was very fortunate to work with a coaching and support team which allowed me to make independent decisions with regards to training.
"Most of the boys had already worked with me during their Under-19 days and it was easy to sell the concepts."
And having a leader like Kohli in the side helped him in being more effective in his job.
"When you see someone like him, it is difficult not to be inspired," said Basu.