Bangladesh’s newest ODI captain Tamim Iqbal said that he was ashamed looking at Virat Kohli’s fitness and the way he went about his training regimen.
Tamim, who has scored more than 10,000 international runs in a 13-year-long career, said he has been able to feel good about himself after adopting a solid fitness regime.
"I must say this. This is not because I am talking to an Indian commentator, who is an ex-cricketer. I think because India is our neighbor country, we follow a lot of things about what's happening in India. As soon as India started to change regarding fitness that impacted Bangladesh the most," Tamim Iqbal told Sanjay Manjrekar for ESPNCricinfo Videocast.
"I have no shame to tell you this, I think this should be out when I used to see Virat Kohli, 2-3 years back, doing all those gym things and running around, I used to be ashamed of myself. Honestly, I used to be ashamed of myself,” he said comparing his fitness to Kohli’s.
"I used to think 'see this is a guy who is probably my age doing kind of things, training so much for success. I maybe am not doing half of what he is doing. At least, if I can't match his level, try to follow his path. Maybe I can reach 50-60 percent,” he further added.
He called fellow cricketer and former captain Mushfiqur Rahim as an idol for young Bangladeshi cricketers to follow. "We have a great example in our team as well, Mushfiqur Rahim. The way he manages himself regarding fitness, he is someone who we actually look up to. Yes there is a thing with Virat Kohli setting an example but also Mushfiqur Rahim can be an idol to a lot of youngsters,” Tamim said.
Talking about his own transformation, Tamim said that it took time for them to realize the importance of the fitness part of the game.
"I always had a mindset 'I am scoring runs, it doesn't matter how I look'. That was a very bad mindset. A - I was not scoring enough but I thought I was. B - I was looking horrible,” Tamim said.
"It was during 2015, I was weighing 9 kgs more than what I am weighing now. There a lot of advantages.. you don't feel tired, you reach the ball quickly and the most important thing is you feel good about yourself," Tamim said.