Shanker Basu, the former India strength and mental conditioning coach, reckons the forced-break could turn out to be a tricky proposition for fast bowlers who could be prone to injuries once the normality returns.

Due to the lockdown on account of coronavirus pandemic, players have been confined indoors and despite them having individual training regimen, Basu says nothing can replace outdoor training.

“In the current scenario (of training at home), the batsmen can still get away but it is tough for the fast bowlers despite them doing the best they can,” Basu told PTI. “This fast bowling unit is very sincere and they will do everything in their capacity to stay fit nevertheless nothing can substitute the actual running in a field and access to any grounds is not possible now, hence the conundrum.”

All the cricketing events have either been postponed or cancelled and Basu, who now is back with IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore, says the sudden change in work load with training and matches resuming could be a challenge.

“When things come back to normalcy they should be aware of the fact that matches will be slotted and in a jiffy the scene will change and you would be required to turn on your performing hat and steam in and bowl fast This sudden change in training loads and spikes in high speed running can be a huge risk factor for fast bowlers,” Basu said.

“They can run on a treadmill but it’s not the same. However, this is the case for all athletes. These are difficult times and current day cricketers are an informed lot and they know how to keep in shape,” he added.

Basu is credited with improving the standards of fitness among India fast bowlers during his tenure between 2015 and 2019.

The current strength and conditioning coach Nick Webb has reportedly designed customised training regimen for each India cricketer. “It is commendable to see all these boys do their bit at home. Most of them have some sort of gym set-up at home. They work on the strength part but don’t know how much conditioning they need to do. The boys are mentally very tough but in this case nobody knows where the finishing line is,” the 51-year-old said.

Keeping oneself busy also becomes a challenge and with streaming services gaining popularity, Basu has advised maintaining a balance. “Train twice in a day once before first meal and once before your second meal. Try to have a routine and it’s not easy, I understand, but as an athlete that’s the challenge. Lying down and browsing channels through the day may not be the right answer. It is a direct invitation for pains and aches. De-training effects starts within 48 hours,” he observed.

Despite the free-time available, following a routine, Basu says, is important.

“Planning the day is important. You decide whether to sleep early or sleep late. Based on that you plan the following day. If you want to sleep early, do an activity first thing when you wake up in the morning and then have breakfast. Then do another activity before lunch. If you are an owl type (sleep late-rise late) activity after waking up and first meal and another activity in the evening to get your steam out,” he said.

“Try to limit your big meals to just two in the day and try snacking in a healthy fashion to stay afloat with regards to your fat percent,” Basu concluded.