Virat Kohli credits former Team India trainer Shanker Basu as ‘biggest factor’ in his fitness transformation


Virat Kohli with Shanker Basu

Indian cricket team skipper Virat Kohli on Sunday credited former Head Strength and Conditioning Coach of the India national cricket team, Shanker Basu, in being the biggest factor in his journey of fitness transformation that has helped him reach new heights in the sport. Kohli said this during a live Instagram chat with Indian football Team skipper Sunil Chettri. 

Chhetri was full of praise for his fitness regime while recalling their first meeting following a charity football game. It was then that Kohli talked about Basu and the changes he brought in, in his workout routines and diet as well, the results of which were quick. 

“It was everything for me. But I would not take credit for this. Yes you put in the work, but someone has to give you the direction. For me the biggest factor, the biggest milestone from my career changing to a certain template from another template which is now is Mr. Shankar Basu. He was part of RCB then, and now he became the trainer of the Indian team. Everyone loved him. He was the one who back in 2015 told me that ‘I am going to introduce you to lifting’. I was hesitant because I already had a back issue. But he assured me that my fitness would transform and that I have to trust him. And in cricket, it was totally new. at least for us. And I was left amazed by the results that came forward in the next three weeks.

“Then he told me what to eat and when. Then I started having a feel of it after three weeks, months. I could feel it inside and I started listening to my body a lot more. That is when I realised that because of my gene I have to work twice or thrice as much as a lanky athlete who can afford to have a cheat day,” said Kohli. 

Besides being a fitness maniac, Kohli also became a vegan back in 2018 before the Test series in 2018. Although he explained that the reason behind choice was a spine injury that he incurred during the South Africa series the same year. 

Talking to former England batsman Kevin Pietersen earlier last month, Kohli said, “Left eating meat just before the England Test series. In 2018, when we went to South Africa, I got a cervical spine issue while playing a test match. It compressed a nerve that was running straight till my little finger of my right hand. It gave me a tingling sensation and I could barely feel my little finger. I could not sleep at night and it was hurting like mad.

“I felt amazing, it is almost two years now and it is the best decision I have taken… it made me feel why I didn’t do it before,” he said.

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