Team India fitness and conditioning coach Shankar Basu and physio Patrick Farhart have informed the cricket board that they would discontinue their stint with the national team after the World Cup. The board had offered a renewed contract, as they had to the entire support staff crew, but they turned down the offer.
“Basu has informed the team management of not continuing as a trainer as he needs a break. So has Patrick. The Indian team will look out for their replacements after the World Cup and West Indies series,” informed a board official.
Both of them are widely considered the men behind the current Indian team’s enhanced fitness levels. Shankar made the controversial yo-yo test mandatory.
Basu was mostly behind the scenes, but it’s he who Kohli credits for his staggering physical transformation. It was a friendship that blossomed during Basu’s stint with the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The Indian skipper had, in the past, made his appreciation of Basu public: “The man (Shankar) is the reason behind all the sprints in the ground and is responsible for the transformation in my strength. You taught me how to train like a professional and helped me push my body and break the limits,” Kohli had posted.
From changing the diet of players to introducing new training methods, Basu had played a key role in transforming Indian players, who were hitherto not the most athletic lot, into an ultra-fit group. “Rome was never built in a day and this team’s brand of training started in 2015,” Basu had said last year.
Meanwhile, BCCI has decided to send Sohum Desai as Basu’s replacement for the tour of West Indies. Thereafter, the board would advertise for all posts including that of the head coach.