Bengaluru, October 27: The BCCI has announced the India squads to tour Australia on Monday (October 26), and except a few, majority of cricketers are playing in the IPL 2020 for various teams. The players have been living inside the bio-secure bubble since late August after arriving in the UAE.
Now, they are set to travel to Australia for a full-fledged series after a high-pressure tournament like the IPL. The players will be transported to a new bio-secure bubble and will have to undergo fresh period of quarantine and routines Down Under.
The Indian cricketers are not unfamiliar to long tours away from home and family but this time the six consecutive months outside could be taxing in particular because of all those Covid 19 protocols put in place. In that context, will the Indian cricketers be mentally ready to tackle a high intensity series against Australia, a hard-nosed opponent?
Ramji Srinivasan, the former strength and conditioning coach of the Indian cricket team and the Founder-Director of Sports Dynamix, said the cricketers should have to adapt to the new normal with smart adaptable training.
"During the IPL, the smart players would have carried over the fitness regime that they have been doing even before entering the bubble. It is important because trying to embark on an altogether new fitness regime will not be of any help. It can only be counter-productive and should not do for the sake of ticking the box. But it has to be methodical, intelligent and smart adaptable training," Ramji told MyKhel.
"It should be a combination of being at the right space mentally and physically, pressing the right button at the right time, so to say. Of course, the nature of an individual too plays an important role here while adapting to the situation," he said.
Ramji gave an example how the character trait of a cricketer can play an important role. "See, someone like Virat Kohli, he has taken fitness to a whole different level. Even when I saw him in the early part of his career, Kohli was the first one to hit the ground or gym. You don't need to push him; the motivation comes from within. But some others needed to be pushed a little bit," he said.
Ramji was aware of the mental pressure being inside bubble could cause to the players.
"Yes, there are chances of getting burned out. After all, it is going to be a solitary life with human interaction restricted to a great extent. You can say there are every facilities inside a hotel room, but still it is a confinement.
"They need to find ways mitigate the loneliness like to positive people even if they are back at home and stay connected or resort to modern technologies like neuro feedback or bio feedback systems etc so that they can bring their mind out of the cage, build an empirical data about their mindset," he added.
So, how players can adjust to a new bio bubble in Australia without dropping the intensity of their performance? "See, any form of adaptation will take 10 days, for body and mind to adapt to a new place, new routine, new country. It's like you are suddenly going to a high-altitude place, you might find it difficult to breathe and it will take a few minutes to come to terms with the new territory.
"The only possibility is to tune their minds, tell themselves that they are going to a new place and remember this, an adaptable athlete always emerge winner. But as I said, this again depends on the personality of the individual players. But you have to be adaptable in these situations and smart in training to get the maximum performance," said Ramji.