October 26, 2008

Warming up

Training routine

Aakash Chopra
Delhi's Virat Kohli has a hit in the nets a day before the Ranji Trophy match against Maharashtra, Nagothane, December 8, 2007
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The Ranji Trophy starts a week from now and all the teams would be preparing in full swing. Most teams have been training for the last three-four weeks hoping to peak at the right time. The initial phase of training camps focus mainly on the physical aspect of the sport, which involves a lot of running and strength training. Even though the skill aspect gets introduced fairly early, the focus shifts to the skills only a couple of weeks before the event.

Our preparation was similar, with the only difference being that we have one relatively lengthy session (from 8am to 12.30pm) as compared to a lot of other teams who divide their daily training into two sessions. They would do the physical conditioning and fielding drills in the two to three hours' morning session and the net session in the afternoon, with a decent break in the middle to allow the players to recover and come back afresh. Ideally, the latter is the best way of training because doing everything in one session means one of the two [physical or skills aspect] is often neglected. If you push yourself in training, you rarely have the strength to go full throttle in the nets and if you intend to bowl at full steam, you end up trying to save a bit [of energy] in the physical training session. Batsmen still get through it well enough but the bowlers, especially the fast men, face the brunt of the gruelling session.

The reason we at Delhi could never opt for two separate sessions is that we don't have residential rooms at the Feroz Shah Kotla. That will definitely happen in the years to come but as of now there's no place to rest in between practice sessions. If one plans to go home and come back for the afternoon session, one would spend all the time on the roads thanks to the distances and traffic in the capital.

Since we're the defending champions our association has taken a few steps to ensure a repeat of last year's success. There was very little possibility to add anything new to our playing squad so the association decided to strengthen our support staff. I'll just provide you with the list of the men involved with our team … at the risk of boring or confusing you guys.

We have a coach, an assistant coach, a manager, a logistics manager, a physiotherapist, a trainer, a video analyst, a yoga teacher, a homeopathic doctor and a net coordinator. I might have missed a name or two. We have a whole entourage to look after our team. How much of it helps? I'll keep my judgment reserved for obvious reasons. But one thing that has proved useful is the bowling machine. It has taken some workload away from the fast bowlers and helped in satisfying, only somewhat, the insatiable hunger of the batsmen in the nets.

We, at Delhi, have been watching our Delhi players' performances in the Challenger trophy with keen interest. A few shone and the rest at least got the feel of playing in a match. Now, we're looking forward to having them back and finish the last leg of preparation with a lot of zeal and enthusiasm.

Former India opener Aakash Chopra is the author of Out of the Blue, an account of Rajasthan's 2010-11 Ranji Trophy victory. His website is here and his Twitter feed here

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Posted by parag on (November 4, 2008, 12:20 GMT)

hey akash, i am a huge fan of yours.hope you win this season of ranji trophy by and score over 600 runs.:)

Posted by Richard olaleyeogundana on (November 3, 2008, 22:24 GMT)

dear sir In our quest to develope and join International Surfing Association Sport,we request for two weeks Lecture/Training for Four(4) of our Coaches.We choose your country because of your re-sound experience and your good exposure in an International Surfing Tounaments. Having said these,this is why we like to request for the following in other to have the knowledge the cost for such Lecture/Training. 1.A Trainer 2.Training site 3.Accommondation 4.Transportation etc. All these are neccessary because of the need to know the total cost and also to discuse with our sponsors and also to prepare ahead of the Lecture/Training. Thank you and hoping to hear from you soonest.

PRESIDENT, ADEOTI SHADRACK. NUSF REPRESENTATIVE AT FISU. MEMBER FC 2002- ASSESSOR- NIGERIA UNIVERSITIES GAMES ASSOCIATION (NUGA). what are need is the place i can do tranin,?

Posted by Richard olaleyeogundana on (November 3, 2008, 22:24 GMT)

dear sir In our quest to develope and join International Surfing Association Sport,we request for two weeks Lecture/Training for Four(4) of our Coaches.We choose your country because of your re-sound experience and your good exposure in an International Surfing Tounaments. Having said these,this is why we like to request for the following in other to have the knowledge the cost for such Lecture/Training. 1.A Trainer 2.Training site 3.Accommondation 4.Transportation etc. All these are neccessary because of the need to know the total cost and also to discuse with our sponsors and also to prepare ahead of the Lecture/Training. Thank you and hoping to hear from you soonest.

PRESIDENT, ADEOTI SHADRACK. NUSF REPRESENTATIVE AT FISU. MEMBER FC 2002- ASSESSOR- NIGERIA UNIVERSITIES GAMES ASSOCIATION (NUGA). what are need is the place i can do tranin,?

Posted by Kunal on (October 29, 2008, 22:50 GMT)

Hi Aakash,

Your buddy from Canada here. Well just wanted to ask you how much of a fan of the bowling machine are you?

I absolutely dislike it until and unless I use it for somethig specific. Either setting it full and fast to work on hand speed, or set it slow (very slow) to work on unweighting.

What do you think?

Posted by Vijay .B on (October 28, 2008, 7:38 GMT)

Hi Akash.My wishes for you is do well in ranji matches.Dont joint ICL.You have bright cricket future if you are regaining the form.

Posted by Mehul Naik on (October 27, 2008, 23:37 GMT)

Hey Aakash , Good luck for the Ranji Season . I strongly thinks that you should be playing in India's test team for two reasons . One that you showed us all in Australia that you belong there . plus you are excellent fielder at Forward Short leg . You took some shprp cathces at that position . One the reason we lost Lanka series because we couldn't catch at that position . While playing in India when we attacking with spin from both end we need specialist FSL fielder . Nothing against Gautam Gambhir but he is not suited to field at that position . So please come with big score in opening Ranji games and hopefully you will replace Saurav Ganguly in playing eleven . Happy Deewali and New Year filled with lots of RUNS .

Posted by Kaushik on (October 27, 2008, 15:49 GMT)

All the best Aakash. Wishing you satisfying knocks, sporting pitches and good, varied bowling to score against. Keep enjoying your batting and close-in fielding. I don't know if there are any matches at Brabourne stadium, but if there are, and Delhi's playing, I'd be delighted to watch you bat. It's a pity people don't show up at Ranji matches: if you love the game, you're getting a relaxed day at the stadium for a nominal price, without the fuss or the crowds. The result doesn't matter all that much, so you're left to enjoy the cricket. The best telecast can't match being at the ground on a fresh day, and the clear sound of leather on willow.

Posted by Anand on (October 27, 2008, 10:01 GMT)

With the absence of Sehwag, Gambhir, Ishant and Kohli (for ODIs), Delhi will struggle to reatin the title. Let's see how Chopra goes about captaincy. All the best!!

Posted by Paraa on (October 27, 2008, 7:04 GMT)

Good Article Aakash.It was nice to have a see peek into the preseason training of a first class team..It is often thought that teams like Delhi would have all the facilities available and they just have to perform in the field.But there a still many operational hazards which people fail to notice.Its nice to see that you guys have become a bit more professional in having specialised people for everything. .First class teams in India still have a long way to go before becoming fully professional when compared to countries like England and Australia..I once read uttar pradesh team didnt even have enough balls to practice..Anyways,good luck for your season and hope Delhi or my state Tamilnadu win the Ranji..Good luck

Posted by Adarsh on (October 27, 2008, 3:10 GMT)

All the best Aakash. Wish you win back the trophy.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra is the 245th Indian to represent India in Test cricket. A batsman in the traditional mould, he played 10 Tests for India in 2003-04, and has played over 120 first-class matches. He currently plays for Delhi in the Ranji Trophy; his book Beyond the Blues was an account of the 2007-08 season. Chopra made a formidable opening combination with Virender Sehwag, which was believed to be one of the reasons for India's success in Australia and Pakistan in 2003-04. He is considered one of the best close-in fielders India has produced after Eknath Solkar.

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