The top trainers across the country feel it will be testing times for the cricketers whenever they return to top-flight cricket, believing such as extended break due to the COVID-19 pandemic will require the athletes at least three weeks’ worth of training in order to be match-ready. Two former trainers of the Indian cricket team, Ramji Srinivasan and Sudarshan, weigh in on the current situation, with the latter believing fast bowlers will find it more challenging once the lockdown is over and cricket is set to resume.

“Fast bowling is all about cardio-vascular activity and for jumping and landing during your run-up, the load is a lot higher. It is crucial to gradually add to the load, otherwise there can be an injury,” Sudarshan, was serves as the trainer of the Indian cricket team between 2013 and 2016, told Times of India.

Barring the Indian national hockey team, who are at pretty much locked at the SAI Centre in Bengaluru and are undergoing proper training in the guidance of trainers, athletes across various sports are ruing the fact that they are not able to train during the nation-wide lockdown. Staying in shape, for cricketers in particular, is challenging considering the amount of workload that goes into them being match-ready. Even shuttlers, paddlers, boxers will have their set of challenges to overcome in terms of getting match ready once the situation improves.

Srinivasan, another former trainer of the Indian team said that although the cricketers are following a series of training schedule, it does not compensate for lack of proper outdoor workout.

“It’s not that they are sitting idle at home, we are talking to athletes and giving them workout schedules, but it can never be a substitute for outdoor training. The ground reaction force plays a very important role during training. Running on the ground and running indoors are completely different, in fact running on a treadmill can only be considered a top-up exercise,” he said.

L Balaji, bowling coach of IPL side Chennai Super Kings, highlighted that although the players may feel the break is providing them rest, it’s not entirely true.

“The notion that this break will be a help for cricketers because they are getting rest is wrong. It is like a car that is in regular use suddenly going to sleep,” Balaji said. “The battery is bound to take a hit and that is exactly the same for the body of the cricketers, especially those who were playing continuous cricket. So it will be crucial for bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah, who have had history of injuries, to carefully monitor the return so that they don’t get injured again.”