Former India opener Virender Sehwag has blamed the workout regimen of the current crop of players for the recurrent back and knee injuries being suffered by them.
According to him, weightlifting is responsible for most of the injuries. The recent back injury saga involving Shreyas Iyer and Jasprit Bumrah apparently led him to highlight this new trend that is in vogue while highlighting that during his playing days, these workouts were rarely resorted to.
Shreyas Iyer recently came back from a back injury and was included in the playing XI in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, but his back gave him troubles again in the fourth test leading him to be ruled out of the match, the subsequent ODI series against Australia, and is set to miss a part of the Indian Premier League which follows.
Here is what Virender Sehwag had to say about the modern day workout regimes
Jasprit Bumrah has undergone a surgery for his back injury which will keep him out of action for 6 months at least, making him slightly doubtful for the 50 over World Cup at home.
Sehwag has opined that weightlifting has no place in the game of cricket and pointed out that icons like Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni rarely suffered back injuries.
He said, “There is no place for weightlifting in cricket. Instead, you should do the exercises that improve your game. Weightlifting will give you strength, but will also increase stiffness and soreness. In our days, Aakash Chopra, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, MS Dhoni, or Yuvraj Singh, nobody were ruled out due to back, hamstring, or quadricep injuries.”
A few pointers that Virender Sehwag may have missed
Recalling a conversation with India Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, Sehwag said, “When Ashwin was with the Kings XI Punjab, he told me he was doing clean-and-jerk workouts because it was in trend. Athletes train from childhood for clean and jerk and still get injured. Imagine a cricketer starting when he’s over 30 years old. Both Ashwin and Axar had problems with their knees because of this workout.”
He further pointed out that everyone needs a workout regimen that would improve his game, and it should be tailormade to suit his body rather than following the fad.
However, here is a small catch that probably Virender Sehwag has missed and that is cricket is evolving with every passing day. More than a team-game it is now more focused on what every individual brings to the table. It is more concentrated on the fact that other than one special skill, how players can be polymaths and chime in with crucial skillsets if their team needs. The man with whom he spoke, Ravichandran Ashwin, himself is an all-rounder and talking about Jasprit Bumrah, he is a fast bowler and being one of the rare craftsmen of one of the most difficult trades, injuries are like bedfellows. It is never easy to walk through your career being a quick and not get yourself injured. Hence the point made by Sehwag himself stands pretty valid and yet has a few loopholes that will need some addressing.