NEW DELHI: Virat Kohli is arguably the fittest Indian cricketer around but that is not good enough for the champion batsman as he wants to become the best athlete in the world, reveals India and RCB fitness coach Shanker Basu.
Kohli has worked immensely on his fitness, especially strength, and the results of that are quite visible. He now hits sixes with as much ease as he pierces the field for boundaries.
"Virat has decided to become the best athlete in the world and sky is the limit. There a lot of role models ahead of him in terms of sheer athletic abilities and he will never shy away from competition. He will grab it with both hands," Basu told 'bcci.tv'.
Basu, who has worked with Kohli at RCB and in the national team, feels the supremely fit batsman is set to raise the bar.
"A lot of athletes will say that they are very lucky to find a coach, but I will instead say that Virat Kohli is an exceptional person, so I was very lucky to have an athlete like him. My association with him dates back to eight years through IPL," Basu said.
He gave an insight to how Kohli approaches his fitness.
"Virat will never challenge you once he is convinced about your methods. I found an athlete who was ready to go through the grind and work hard consistently whenever the need arose. He is very good with his nutrition plans and discipline factors.
"He has also made a lot of lifestyle changes. Kudos to him. I was just a tool. I only introduced him to the right kind of strength work which was already building thanks to my predecessors.
When I joined the Indian team full time, I was able to spend more quality time on a daily basis. That probably was the icing on the cake as about 90 per cent of the work was done by him and I just provided the finishing touch," said Basu.
Kohli himself has mentioned about the changes he experienced in his body after he regularly started lifting weights since the tour of Sri Lanka last year. He has come a long way since then and a testimony to that was his stupendous showing in the latest IPL, where he smashed 38 sixes, 15 more than the previous edition.
Basu revealed how Kohli kept raising the fitness bar ever since they started working at RCB.
"Kohli once said that he has to tweak his game as he cannot hit sixes like others. This IPL, he hit 38 sixes which is the most this season and 15 more than his last season’s tally. There is a definite surge in his power.
"In September we got an assessment of his muscle mass. At the end of the season, we wanted to see if there was a change and what we noticed was his muscle mass had increased dramatically. In the last six months, he has put a lot of time in developing his strength, mass and power," he said.