Bumrah’s hostile spell was crucial in restricting South Africa to an ordinary total in the opening fixture of the World Cup 2019. – GETTY IMAGES
Recovery is a bigger challenge than training for fast bowlers who operate throughout the cricketing calendar. As India plays its second fixture of the World Cup — against Australia on Sunday — the focus will be on the six-week maintenance of the pace batteries.
The five-piece seam bowling pack — frontlined by Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami — is notably one of the best Indian attacks in a World Cup.
Former India trainer Ramji Srinivasan laid down a chart for the Indian speedsters to follow in an interaction with Sportstar. “I would say fast bowlers are cricket decathletes because they need to run and sprint. All aspects of fitness is to be addressed as far as fast bowling is concerned.
“But most important is a good recovery session between matches. The hydration protocol, specific gravity of urine, is important. It is essential to measure where they stand on the hydration scale of 1 to 10 and design a protocol accordingly,” he said.
India bowlers Yuzvendra Chahal and Mohammed Shami share a laugh. – AP
Srinivasan pointed at the light recovery techniques to gain rhythm and recover from the onslaught of Yo-Yo beep tests and medicine balls. “The recovery protocol, active or passive, is crucial. A light aerobic session can be a good recovery run rather than a workout. These things will be of great help for the fast bowlers to recover in between matches.
“Fast bowling is also about rhythm. The slow recovery runs will help in breathing and in rhythm. Improving the breathing pattern is important,” revealed Srinivasan.
Call for individual care
Srinivasan reckoned the overall fitness culture is better compared to the last generation. “It is a generation gap now. The guys are into fitness from a young age. IPL has changed how fitness is looked at. It has become a way of life. It is not that players are suddenly getting fit after getting into the Indian team. The fitness level of every sportsperson has gone up.”
But individual care is necessary. “What will suit for Bumrah may not suit Shami, and what will help Shami may not be ideal for Bhuvneshwar. A specialised fitness and recovery schedule, along with diet, is essential. Recovery, fitness and nutrition is like a tripod. All three things have to be addressed individually. Then, there is no room for error.”
Both Shami and Bumrah have clocked 150 kmph in IPL 2019, trust them to throw down bullets in the fickle English weather.