The Indian cricket board (BCCI) must take special care of injury-prone fast bowler Varun Aaron to ensure he has a long and successful international career, feels former national team physio John Gloster.
Gloster, who had worked with the Indian team from 2005-2008, feels that “maintaining proper workload is an area of concern not only for Indian fast bowlers as well bowlers from other part of the world”.
“Varun is what 24 years and he has already had a back surgery and that’s not a great thing at such a young age. So he is fast bowler, who needs to be managed very carefully as there is every chance of a recurrence,” Gloster, who has managed the likes of Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Ajit Agarkar during his stint with the Indian team, told PTI on the sidelines of a 2015 ICC World Cup promotional event.
For Gloster, the “fitness programme” for each and every fast bowler is different from one another.
“Varun Aaron bowls at 90 miles per hours while Bhuvneshwar Kumar barely touches 80 miles. The fitness programme for both would be entirely different as workload also varies completely,” said Gloster, who is currently attached with the IPL team Rajasthan Royals.
On Ishant Sharma’s recurring ankle problem, Gloster said that bowling in English conditions is completely different because of the “pounding that the feet takes on softer grounds”.
“As far as I know, Ishant’s rehab went well. Now the problem is that a fast bowler, who does not have an experience of playing county cricket in England will have difficulties on the softer turfs. The pounding that a fast bowler’s ankles take on landing is enormous.
“That’s why it is so important for Indian boys to go and play county cricket. Look at Zak (Zaheer Khan). A season with Worcestershire and he was a changed bowler. I have worked with Surrey and I feel that players learn more about maintaining their fitness while playing county cricket,” Gloster said.
Gloster made an interesting point about bowling shoes of a particular sports manufacturing brand that has been causing injuries.
“Now cricketers have their kit contracts. A lot of these fast bowlers wear a famous sports brand’s bowling shoes which are actually rubbish. Since they are contracted to that particular brand, they wear and develop a lot of injuries,” explained Gloster.
He is also against too much of training in the gymnasium rather than doing “cricket specific exercise” which leads to a lot of stress related injuries.
“I have never supported too much upper body weight training for fast bowlers. They take that extra load in the gym and crumble in match situations due to stress related injuries.
“Ask the 70’s and 80’s boys like Kapil Dev, Michael Holding, Jeff Thomson. Ask them if they had ever done so much of gymming. They would do cross-country, sand surfing or swimming to increase their lower body strength,” added Gloster.