Gandhi-Mandela series : Indian team to undergo intensive boot camp training before the start of South Africa series

Praveen / 27 September 2015

The marathon series between India and South Africa is just days away from its Kick-off and the Indian cricket team is all set to undergo intensive Boot camp before the start of the series.

In order to increase the endurance and mental toughness, the Indian cricket team will undergo an intensive boot camp in Himachal Pradesh just before the start of the South Africa series.

Think of a boot camp and images of isolation, intense physical endurance tests and living without basic amenities come flashing into the mind. In military parlance, it has been stated that the basic purpose of a boot camp is to psychologically reprogram an individual’s desire for self-preservation and self-satisfaction.

In 2006, Boot Camp was organised by the Australian coach John Buchanan to condition the players in handling pressure. The end-result was a 5-0 whitewash of England in the 2006/07 Ashes. England responded with their own boot camp in the Bavarian Jungles in 2010 before the Ashes. The activities involved boxing, abseiling and hiking. It again yielded results as England won a series in Australia after 24 years in the 2010/11 Ashes. 

Now, the Indian cricket team has decided to undergo such a rigorous programme ahead of their marathon 72-day series against South Africa, according to a report in the Times of India. The venue for this boot camp will be in Himachal Pradesh and it is believed that this programme has been conducted on the advice of Team Director Ravi Shastri. The management believes this exercise is necessary to increase the physical and mental endurance of players ahead of a tough season that also involves the ICC World Twenty20 in March-April 2016.

It is reported that the boot camp will include obstacle courses, high-altitude trekking and barrier courses. It could also involve a hike of over 7000 feet above sea level and this exercise has been modelled according to the drills of the Indian Army.

Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) press secretary Mohit Sood said the players will arrive in Dharamsala on September 28 for the camp. According to one official in the association, the exercises got the thumbs up from BCCI secretary and HPCA president Anurag Thakur.

“After the Indian team came back from Sri Lanka, Shastri had a talk with Anurag Thakur and requested him to grant the team necessary logistics for the high-altitude training. Anuragji gave a thumbs-up to Shastri’s plan and told us to make sure that arrangements were made,” the official was quoted as saying by the Times of India

The Indian team is currently undergoing a preparatory exercise at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore and this exercise is done to ensure that there is no negativity in the team. India starts their series against South Africa with a T20I on October 2 in Dharamsala.

For India’s limited overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, this boot camp will be a kind of exercise he will be familiar with. In 2011, Dhoni has conferred the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Parachute Regiment. In August 2015, Dhoni completed his first parachute jump for the territorial army after weeks of toughening exercises. He is the first cricketer in the world to actually train as a paratrooper and this boot camp will only serve him well for the present as well the future.

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