Virat Kohli is team India's fittest player, proves NCA's rehab report for 2021-22 season
Virat Kohli has been the fittest Indian cricketer by a distance and a testimony to that is a BCCI report which revealed that at least 23 centrally-contracted Indian cricketers, except the former skipper, required a visit to NCA for rehabilitation in 2021-22 season for some or other injury.
A BCCI study that said that at least 23 centrally-contracted Indian cricketers, other than Virat Kohli, required a visit to NCA for rehabilitation in the 2021–22 season is evidence that the former Indian skipper has been by far the fittest player in the team.
The National Cricket Academy's (NCA) work during the previous season is described in the report written by BCCI CEO Hemang Amin.
"A total of 96 complex injuries to 70 players were treated by the NCA medical team during this period," according to the report.
Out of 70 players, 23 were from the senior India team, 25 were from India A/Targeted, one was from India U-19, seven were from the senior Women's team, and 14 were from states.
The 23 centrally contracted players included skipper Rohit Sharma (hamstring), his deputy KL Rahul (post hernia surgery), Cheteshwar Pujara, Shikhar Dhawan, Hardik Pandya, Umesh Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Rishabh Pant, Ishant Sharma, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Mayank Agarwal, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshear Kumar, Ajinkya Rahane, R Ashwin, Axar Patel and Wriddhiman Saha.
According to an insider, Kohli never needed to check in at Bengaluru's Centre of Excellence for injury or fitness-related issues in the past year.
"To be fair, a lot of these injuries were on-field. Some were unlucky with fractures (Surya). Some had multiple issues at different times. But you have to give it to Kohli's fitness that he has managed himself so well that he never had any hamstring or muscle-related injuries, primarily because of the kind of fitness work he does throughout the year," a BCCI source said.
To add a bit of context, the several players who required rehab were 10 years younger than Kohli and had extended periods of various types of injury lay-offs.
The list included youngsters like Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Venkatesh Iyer, KS Bharat, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Sanju Samson, Ishan Kishan, Karthik Tyagi, Navdeep Saini and Rahul Chahar.
In 2018, Kohli developed back-related (herniated disc) problem, which prevented him from playing County cricket for Surrey. However, he has managed it well since then and is still the fittest senior Indian player in the park.
(With inputs from PTI)