Former India pacer Ashish Nehra feels that fast bowlers are at a disadvantage when it comes to remaining fit when compared to batsmen in such long periods of breaks. He mentioned that batsmen had the option of doing yoga and weight training, but quick bowlers had no such luxury.
India is under a 21-day lockdown due to the spread of Coronavirus pandemic and with it all cricket has been suspended. The virus has infected more than one million people while taking the lives of more than 65,000 humans.
The elite athletes are confined to their homes, trying to remain fit while hoping for action to begin once normalcy returns. "Let's consider a few situations. Even if the lockdown ends on April 15, it will take a lot of time for social life to become normal. If you ask me, I am not expecting any cricketing activity before July. So this is a long break but once the action starts fast bowlers have the biggest challenge to remain fit," Nehra said.
Nehra pointed out the lack of running time is a problem for fast bowlers who have a different muscle built for the cause. "Lack of running time for fast bowlers is an issue. Now the situation is unavoidable. So whoever at least has a garden with say 15 meters or 20 meters space, they should do a shuttle run thrice a week unless they are allowed to train at grounds," said Nehra.
"You can do as much of yoga or free weights, fast bowler's life is nothing without good running time. There is a lot of difference with batsmen," Nehra further added.
The bowler, who has the best bowling figures by an Indian in a World Cup match, also hoped that both the BCCI and the ICC give ample amount of time for the players to get back into playing rhythm, whenever they decided to bring cricket back.
"And injuries can happen to anyone. The fast bowler who has trained the least might be fitter than a fast bowler who has trained the most. The nature of the sport is such. But yes, I hope that if lockdown ends, they have access to grounds," said Nehra.
On a lighter note, Nehra signed off by saying, "Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra, after this prolonged break, can afford to come back with a paunch. Not active players. So break ka matlab ye naahi ki biryani khaani hain (A break from sport doesn't mean you will have biryani)."