The unexpected three-week gap gave India’s top cricketers much needed rest and the hotel quarantine period has been well utilised to address the fitness areas which otherwise goes untouched during a season, team’s strength and conditioning (S&C) coach Soham Desai said on Monday.
Desai along with New Zealand’s Nick Webb are the two S&C coaches of the men’s team and are in charging of getting the side into peak fitness before the marquee World Test Championship final in Southampton from June 18.
“Nick and I both feel that we have benefitted by the gap we got for the boys to take rest. They have had a long year — right from last IPL to this,” Desai told BCCI.tv.
Desai said that they had asked all the top India stars to “rest and take some time off, stay with family and relax” before getting back to training.
The team will depart for United Kingdom on Wednesday night and currently they are slowly building towards the tour with moderate to high intensity training.
“It has taken three weeks to take them through training which ideally they are not able to undertake due to the skills (practice), and matches being constantly there,” Desai, the man who has worked tremendously with Mohammed Siraj from his India A days, said.
“Slowly, we started building them towards what they actually need to do and where we feel they need to work out on those aspects during the season. So we filled those folders for them.”
Desai was grateful that BCCI arranged for spacious hotel rooms where they could use maximum equipments for weight training during the seven days of hard quarantine.
“We are thankful to BCCI that they gave us this property where there were balcony and outdoor spaces where they were able to move out and work and put good amount of weights in their rooms for them to carry out their training,” Desai explained further.
“The idea during those times was to address the areas of their weaknesses and areas which they need to work on. From 7th, 8th and 9th day, there were doing individual training sessions,” he informed.
“They (players) just trained alone on their own and it was in the gym, so they had access to treadmills and access to few areas where they could run and do their drills, did some bowling drills,” Desai said as the website uploaded a video of pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah rolling his arm over with some “hitting the spot” bowling.
“I think we have ticked many boxes and we are in very good space right now,” Desai concluded.