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Friday, June 1, 2018

age is a number ~ fitness matters - confirms CSK MS Dhoni


I vividly remember this guy making  debut against England in Dec 1984 – the bowling lineup missing Kapil Dev read, Chetan Sharma, Manoj Prabhakar, Ravi Shastri, Roger Binny and Rajinder Sing Ghai.   Alongside Ghai, Kiran More, R Robinson and Richard Ellison also made their debuts.  On a condition camp before a tour at Chepauk – players came out – some of them (star Batsmen of India) just moved their hands a few times – while a bunch of pacers did running practice.  After 3 rounds – most of them retired, Kapil Dev, the supreme fit player kept running and Rajinder Singh Ghai matched him running !
thala  Dhoni pic : credit – www.7.life.

Bone densitometry, also called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry or DEXA, uses a very small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body (usually the lower spine and hips) to measure bone loss. It is commonly used to diagnose osteoporosis and to assess an individual’s risk for developing fractures. DEXA is simple, quick and noninvasive. Unlike a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan or a computerised tomography (CT) scan, a DEXA scan doesn't involve being enclosed inside a tunnel or a ring, so one would not feel claustrophobic. 

Sometime back, Indian cricketers undergoing YoYo test made rounds.   Every Indian cricketer — not just those who play the energy intensive shorter versions, but even Test cricketers — had to possess a basic level of aerobic endurance prescribed by the Indian team management.  BCCI top official went on record stating that  even if a cricketer happens to be injury-free and in form, failure to meet the mandatory fitness parameters would result in him making way for a fitter player. “The captain, coach and chief selector, along with the other members of the selection committee in consultation with the support staff (trainer and physio), have set the parameters. The fitness parameters set by the team management for athletes to be eligible for selection are non-negotiable,” Johri  was quoted as saying.

The yo-yo test required players to pace themselves methodically — starting with a modest jog to the eventual gut-busting sprint — as they shuttle back and forth between two rows of cones kept 20 metres apart. Each run needs to be timed with the three beeps that are played in the background. These are the signals for start, turn and finish. With the timing between the beeps constantly decreasing, each subsequent 40m circuit requires more speed. Getting beaten twice by the beep means the end of the test. The final score is determined by the laps completed and the speed gathered.  Well among others, Ravi Ashwin easily passed while Yuvi and Raina reportedly failed !!

Now it is no longer YoYo but - the DNA test, or, genetic fitness test, that is an indicator of about how 40 plus genes are related to a person’s fitness, health, and nutrition. Each cricketer’s DNA data is then combined with the environmental data which is the individual’s body weight and diet, for an all-round analysis.  It is not new, the  DNA test was first introduced in the NBA (basketball) and the NFL in the United States. Earlier, the Indian cricket team used to undergo Skinfold Test for body fat measure percentage and then switched to DEXA test.

            In the end, what captains want is players who move well in the field. It doesn't matter how old the player is .. .. the present CSK team is clear on that .. as his side lifted the third Indian Premier League title on May 27, hammering Sunrisers Hyderabad by eight wickets, mercurial Dhoni  opined that it is the fitness of players which matters the most.  "We talked a lot about age, but what's more important is the fitness. Rayudu, at 33,  doesn't really matter;  what more matters than age is his ability to respond. ," Dhoni said after the match.  Following the win, MS Dhoni said that age was just a number and fitness of a player mattered a lot more than how old he is.  We knew our shortcomings, and we were aware of it. If Watson tries to dive, he may injure his hamstring, so we don't want him to do that. We've been aware of these things. Age is just a number, but you have to be very fit," Dhoni said in after CSK's 8-wicket win.

There is lot sense in that – on that day when RS Ghai ran rounds after round at Chepauk, Vengsarkar just shaked his hip, took a couple of catches and did nothing more – yet he was a stylish cricketer who made runs when mattered.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
31st May 2018.



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