R Sridhar, the fielding coach of the Indian Cricket team, believes that in order to regain complete match fitness, the Indian team would require 6 weeks of training.
Currently, the players’ training is restricted to gym sessions and personalised training charts prepared by the Head Strength & Conditioning coach Nick Webb. Even though the lockdown guidelines have been eased a bit, the BCCI is supposed to get an approval from the government to decide their next course of action.
Sridhar spoke to PTI, saying, “Fast bowlers need around six weeks, batsmen might take a bit less time. Once we get a date (on start of national camp) from the BCCI and approved by the government of India, we can start working backwards (starting from scratch).”
Sridhar emphasized that the players’ workload needs to be taken care of, as they might take their time to get used to a new training regime, broken down into four phases on the basis of intensity.
He said, “The challenge is to proceed in right phases, as players can get excited when they play after 14 or 15 weeks. It is pertinent that we move in right manner forward. Don’t want to look too much ahead. Initially, we have to give them progressive workload. You can’t have a sudden spike in workload which could lead to injuries. First phase, it will be ‘low volume-low intensity’, followed by ‘moderate volume-low intensity’, ‘high volume-moderate intensity’ and then starts ‘high volume-high intensity’ training. This is how we will go. May be the fast bowlers will bowl two overs from half or quarter run-up. The deliveries will be bowled at 20 or 30% intensity. For a fielder, it will be at the maximum, six throws over 10 metres or six throws over 20 metres at 40-50% intensity. For a batsman, it will start with five to six minutes of batting against moderate pace bowling. For catchers, it will start with semi-soft balls, intensity will be slow and volumes will be less. Then we can slowly pick it up as we cross one phase after another.
We can’t do same training every day as we start with low volume-low intensity training. Once we get to the fourth week when high volume-high intensity training starts, the hands will get used to hard balls coming at 140km an hour, 130km an hour, that’s when match-training will start. The sharpest minds will take six weeks to get into Test match mode.”
Sridhar, who has been with the Indian team since 2014, felt the need to get innovative methods once training resumes in a controlled environment and plan accordingly.
“There are few things on my mind and when we go back and start the camp. In a phased manner, we will incorporate a lot of drills, external props would be used to increase their reflexes, reaction drills, deviation methods, all those things.We will be more realistic as to what elite level cricketers need, we will make innovations that are pertinent to our plans,” he said.