Indian cricket team’s strength and conditioning coach Shankar Basu had handed over his resignation to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) long back in 2016.
Basu took the decision after the fifth Test against England in Chennai. Team India management did ask the coach to reconsider their decision. It has been learnt from reliable sources that Vasu, who runs a chain of fitness centres in Chennai, needed to take some time off from the team owing to compelling family and business reasons.
It has also been understood that Vasu, who has enjoyed his stint with the Indian team and wants to be a part of it in future too, earlier had asked for ‘leave’ till the Champions Trophy, which begins in England in June 2017.
He wanted to join the Indian team after the break, sources have said. Importantly, both Indian team coach Anil Kumble and Test captain Virat Kohli wanted Vasu back in the team and are said to be in touch with him.
The Board, according to sources, is also keen on retaining the services of Vasu who, many believe, has taken the fitness of the Indian team to the next level.
Highly rated by Kohli, Vasu made the Indian captain and the team go through latest power training methods.
Vasu also brought in load monitoring app, which shows how much work a cricketer has put in and how much his body can withstand, bringing in objective data.
The Yo-Yo endurance training, a variation of the beep method, a maximal running aerobatic fitness test, was also employed by Basu, who believed in specific training for each format.
Apart from his work with Kohli, Vasu’s job with the Indian pace trio of Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar was greatly appreciated. All three bowled with more speed and fitness. Shami, in fact, had returned from a career-threatening knee surgery.
Star allrounder R. Ashwin, who acknowledged Vasu’s contribution after being named ICC ‘Cricketer of the Year,’ also improved his fitness.
In Vasu’s time, there were three soft tissue fitness concerns. The others were ‘impact’ injuries about which a strength and conditioning coach can do little.