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Ajit Agarkar highlights Virat Kohli's fitness impact on Indian cricketing ecosystem

Former cricketer and selector Ajit Agarkar commends Virat Kohli's enduring fitness standards, highlighting their impact on Indian cricket.

cricket Ajit Agarkar highlights Virat Kohli's fitness impact on Indian cricketing ecosystem osf
First Published Apr 10, 2024, 5:22 PM IST

Ajit Agarkar, chairman of selectors, lauds Virat Kohli's fitness regimen for its profound influence on Indian cricket. Speaking on SportifywithPRG, Agarkar notes Kohli's enduring athleticism even at 35, setting a high bar for fitness across the board. As Kohli continues to excel in the ongoing IPL, Agarkar contrasts his approach with MS Dhoni's instinct-driven leadership, emphasising the irreplaceable role of human intuition on the field. While acknowledging the significance of data analytics in modern cricket, Agarkar underscores the importance of temperament and team cohesion in achieving success amidst the competitive landscape of the IPL.

"You look at guys like Virat (Kohli), he is one of those guys who set the benchmark. 10-15 years into his career, he has only got fitter, you can see the results. If someone like him sets an example and puts forward certain things that you need or certain fitness levels that you need, gradually it progresses across the ecosystem.

"Gradually it has progressed (to the younger generation). The one difference you have seen over the last 15-20 years or so is the fitness levels of players," said Agarkar on SportifywithPRG.

"The amount of data that's available, is incredible. You can plan a whole innings and I think everybody does it now, but it doesn't mean it will work all the time. You need a captain on the ground because not everything that you've planned is going to go your way.

"On a particular day it might, but most days it won't. And that's where you need human instinct. That's why you call MS Dhoni a great captain because he had a feel for the game. He knew what was happening and how the game was changing," opined the 46-year-old former India pace bowler.

"You can see it, (IPL) keeps throwing up players out of the blue. Having been a selector for a few months, there are certain players who suddenly come and show even on the big stage. IPL is a fairly big stage because of the pressures involved, big crowds.

"You might be bowling to the top batters in the world, or you might be facing one of the top bowlers in the world, and that's when you stand up and that's where you judge the temperament of a player, whether he can do it consistently," said Agarkar.

"It's sometimes a difficult task because of the sheer numbers (of players coming through the domestic structure) that we have. But, eventually, the more you watch players and temperament sometimes separates it."

Agarkar believes a tight-knit side will, more often than not, be a winning side.

"A tight-knit group generally helps. You don't need to be the best friends but you want to enjoy each others' success. If that doesn't happen sometimes it is a bit difficult."

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