MSK Prasad said Team India needs to be fitter    Getty Images
MSK Prasad said Team India needs to be fitter Getty Images

India, post the 1990s, have made a thorough change in their fitness regime, and has become a side that boasts of few of the best contemporary fielders. However, as per Chairman of Selectors MSK Prasad, India had a lack of fitness quotient in the side after ICC Champions Trophy 2017. The next World Cup is less than a couple of years away, and India s preparations for the event have started early. Prasad felt that the changes made now regarding the fitness of the side will reflect in the 2019 World Cup. READ: If Dhoni does not deliver, India must look for alternatives, says Prasad

“If I put my hand on my heart and say after the Champions Trophy, we felt that we need to be a fitter and a stronger side. We felt that we need to raise our fitness levels and we needed to raise our fielding standards. We are trying to fix some fitness parameters and everyone has to strictly adhere to those parameters. We have two to three phases in those parameters leading up to the 2019 World Cup, and if someone fails to match those parameters, he will not be considered irrespective of whoever it is. After the Champions Trophy, personally, the committee and I felt that we need to be much stronger. Skill-level, there are no two ways. Skill-level, we are number one in the world; when it comes to fitness, we need to raise our standards. The Indian team management along with the players and selectors sat and fixed certain parameters. This is the fitness parameters, this is the body texture. They have to match them. Today the entire world has got those standards. Including Pakistan [each team] has got certain parameters. Though we are slow, I am sure we will definitely catch up,” Prasad told EspnCricinfo.

He also cleared the air about Ravichandran Ashwin playing in County Championship, saying that is not the reason for him being rested. “It was hearsay [that counties had been in touch with players]. Neither the players nor anybody else had intimated officially that they are going for county. Otherwise it is a clear case of resting them. Irrespective of whether they are playing county or not, we are resting them.”