Demands on Fitness Varies in Three Different Formats
Now we have a championship for test cricket. It makes three championships for three different formats.
From the fitness perspective the obvious question that begs answering is: are physical preparations identical for all these formats?
The answer is no with a capital N. Quietly glance through the team list of any international side in three formats. You’ll catch only 4-5 common names, the rest are different bowlers, different keepers and even different captains.
Being the oldest format, Test cricket is played over five days, 90 overs each day. This demands a fair bit of cardiovascular endurance in all three disciplines – batting, bowling and fielding. I remember Ashish Nehra of India because of his fragile ankle could only bowl ten overs after which his ankle would give in. He only played ODI and T-20 at the later part of his career. Same for Shaun Tait or Lasith Malinga. Their body could not withstand the rigors of test cricket. Remember, M.S. Dhoni being one of the fittest cricketers around quit test cricket to lengthen his career.
The body of a cricketer needs to be conditioned for a five day grind. Interval runs either by way of running hard for 2-4 minutes and at easy pace for 1 minute can be continued for 20-25 minutes. 3 km time trial once in 10 days also sounds good. Mitchel Johnson used to replicate his bowling run up into conditioning. He would run 40 metres hard, then rest for 6-8 seconds.
And do back to back 6 sprints, like bowling an over. A batter like Virat Kohli plays up to 400 balls in an innings as does Joe Root or Cheteswar Pujara. For them milking is the name of the game. To develop such durability strength endurance for muscles play a major role. Moderate weight and higher repetitions is ideal twice a week although work on maximal strength is performed on alternate days.
In ODI cricket one has to survive 100 overs a day. There is a 30 minutes break in between while test cricket has breaks in lunch and tea. Then there’s overnight rest. This gives one a fair chance to recover from stress. Therefore, test cricket is not a continuous torture test of sustainability. In ODI repeated bursts of sprints, hammering the ball, bouncers and yorkers tilts the scale of training goal more towards power and speed although one can’t completely ignore cardio endurance. Here 80% of cardio training should be bursts of 23/7 interval runs.
Here you cover 40 metres roughly in 6-7 seconds and come back to starting block in 23 seconds before you start the next run. There is back to 10 such runs. Then there are 30-40 metres sprints. In strength training major emphasis should be Olympic lifts for power and maximum strength. This format is exactly a blend of test and T-20 cricket. Once you visit the stats you will find Virat Kohli, Hashim Amla, A.B. Devilliers and Kane Williamson who are great in test cricket have been key players in ODI because they take singles and doubles more than taking the aerial route.
T-20 is for young and fresh legs barring a few exceptions like Chris Gayle, Imran Tahir and M.S. Dhoni. The average age for any international side in T-20 is between 25-28 in sharp contrast to 30-32 in test cricket. The training scale tilts heavily towards speed and power. The game in total lasts for 3 hours. So the demand for cardio reserve is minimal.
The fast twitch muscle fibres needs a real rap. Short bursts intervals like 20-30 metres sprints and simulation of fielding drills on speed and agility are an ideal template. Then of course, the big bang exercises like clean and jerk, power clean and stuff like dead lifts to fire the fast twitch fibre for the slam bang show. All these factors influence younger legs with greater physical strength get an edge over older legs.
© Cricket World 2019