Kings XI Punjab's Adam Gilchrist reacts to his bowler James Faulkner, (unseen) during their IPL-5 match against Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur. (PTI Photo/Aman Sharma)
The Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) skipper has never been the conventional type. Be it his unusual but highly effective aggressive approach while batting in Test matches or the way he trains. It is almost as if he wants to set a precedent, to follow others was never meant for him.
Most of the cricketers around the globe, especially nowadays, swear by weight training and a bit of aerobics. But that thought does not cross Gilchrist’s mind. For him training is synonymous with boxing.
“Adam loves to box. In the fourth season, he came up to me and told me that he had never lifted weights in his life. Wicketkeeping had helped him tone his lower body and boxing was his way of training. He requested me to be his partner and help him,” explains Adrian Dias, KXIP trainer.
In the gloves
And when it comes to boxing, there is no letting up.
“Every alternate day we have 30-minute sessions, which includes bouts and core sessions. By the time it is done, we are both so drained out because we go at each other really hard. In fact, Adam is so good that even the youngsters can’t match upto him,” says Dias, who claims that Mandeep Singh is the best Indian when it comes to training.
While Dias enjoys training Gilchrist and his boys, his ultimate dream will take you by surprise. “My goal is to become a football manager, I have always been keen about it,” says Dias, who admires Jose Mourinho, Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger and Pep Guardiola as managers, with a shy smile.
The embarrassment finally comes to the fore as he says, “But whenever I do become a manager, I will be the first one to faint!”
Dias has worked with second division I-League team Vasco Sports Club as head trainer and assistant coach. “But we always had an upper-limit that we couldn’t breach. The talent that players had was enormous but we had limited access to infrastructure and people thought that at 25, I was too young for the post. Then KXIP came about.”
Now that he has tested two different sports, Dias explains, "In football, physicality is more important and in cricket a lot of mental work goes into it. But in a tournament with a crazy schedule like the IPL, I can use my football experience to help cricketers.”