Indian cricketers got down to business on Wednesday by going to a secluded place, without even cellular network, on the outskirts of Bangalore. Trainer Gregory Allen King said on Tuesday that the cricketers will be put through out-of-box training methods like teki, mountaineering and rock climbing.
Young as well as older cricketers responded to the move in a positive way, agreeing offbeat methods made training interesting. But former India opener and coach Anshuman Gaekwad says that, while these methods may look new to present-day cricketers and fans, some of them were used by past Indian cricketers.
“You can ask Kapil Dev or Madan Lal or any other former player. We have done things like rock-climbing,” Gaekwad said. “We did yoga too.”
He added that during his father’s playing days (Dattajirao Gaekwad was India captain in the late 1950s), Indian camps were regularly held at army cantonments.
Current Indian cricketer Y Venugopal Rao, who missed out on the forthcoming Sri Lankan trip due to Sachin Tendulkar’s return, and former all-rounder Robin Singh, one of the fittest cricketers of his time, said novel methods helped players stay fresh and focussed.
“The regular training routines sometimes get boring,” said Rao, who returned from the India ‘A’ tour of Australia on Wednesday. “It is better to do different things so that you can focus on the game better, keep your mind fresh and enjoy yourself.”
The Andhra middle-order batsman, part of the conditioning camp last year in Bangalore at around the same time, said there was no particular routine that he found tough. But he added, “Some of them were difficult but at the same time, it was fun trying them out. It was enjoyable.”
India ‘A’ coach Robin Singh was of the view that every physical training method will help the cricketers. “Sometimes, the training can become monotonous. Innovative ways keep you pepped up,” he said. “Moreover, as the players are away from home for a long time, fun-filled tr-aining can bring players together.” He admitted that training in his days was more cricket oriented.
Meanwhile, a fitness freak in his playing days, Kapil Dev was confused by the regimen the current team was undergoing. When informed that the cricketers were training at an Air Force base, Kapil, speaking from overseas (he refused to disclose where exactly he was), said: “Are they going to join the army or what?” When told it was to improve their fitness, Kapil said: “Then they must be going back to school.”
Meanwhile, reports from Bangalore said, Indian cricketers, after toying with the De Bono lateral thinking theory, are now experimenting with a structured 'Outward Bound Learning programme' at the Pegasus Institute of Excellence. The latest programme, involving dynamic obstacle course like rappelling, water activities and building a tent blindfold, is aimed at increasing the tolerance levels of persons in a fun filled environment. The programme is already popular among corporates but is a first for Indian cricketers.