India captain Virat Kohli reckons he has 8-10 years of competitive cricket left provided he maintains his current fitness regimes.
The demands of modern cricket have gone beyond skills with bat and ball. In an ever changing scenario, fitness is the key. Kohli, 28, whose intense workout sessions have made him ‘insanely’ fit, feels it’s all about pushing the body beyond its limits.
“I think a lot of us don’t realise how good we are. We limit ourselves already before we (can) try. That’s what I felt because I only have eight more years, 10 maximum if I really train hard,” said Kohli at the launch of the RP-SG Indian Sports Honours, dedicated to rewarding sporting excellence.
This should be easy for someone like Virat Kohli, whose actions have highlighted the importance of fitness.
It was in 2012 when his perception regarding fitness changed. After his ton in the Adelaide Test, he guided India to a magnificent win in Hobart against Sri Lanka. His 183 against Pakistan in Asia Cup promised bigger things before he flopped in the 2012 Indian Premier League (IPL).
His poor run in that tournament was the chief reason behind him opting for a strict diet and fitness schedule.
“My training was horrible. I ate so bad, I was having a drink or two regularly. It was a horrible mindset. I was so thankful it (IPL) was over. I went home, came out of the shower one day, looked at myself in the mirror and said, ‘you can’t look like this if you want to be a professional cricketer,” Kohli was quoted as saying to The Telegraph in an interview in 2016.
“I changed everything, from what I eat to how I train. I was in the gym for an hour-and-a-half every day. Working really hard, off gluten, off wheat, no cold drinks, no desserts, nothing. It was tough. For the first two months, I felt I wanted to eat the bed sheet. I was craving delicious food. But then I saw the results,” he had said in the interview.
Kohli also praised Pullela Gopichand, the national badminton coach, who will be heading the jury for this initiative.
“We all know about his work ethic. It’s because of him India have won medals in the last 4-5 years. After a long time, India have become a competitive force in Badminton,” Kohli said.
He said it would be an honour for him to make India reach different levels across all sports.
“It’s always good to reach a stage in life where you can influence people. It will be great if 5-10 years down the line India can dominate around the world,” Kohli concluded.