Kohli has set a new fitness benchmark: Agarkar

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | April 10, 2024 IST

Virat Kohli

New Delhi, April 10: Ajit Agarkar, the current India senior men’s chief selector, said talismanic batter Virat Kohli is one of the few players who has set a benchmark in terms of fitness to play the sport and serve the country for long at the international level.

Kohli, who made his international debut in 2008, is currently leading the run-making charts of IPL 2024, amassing 316 runs in five matches, including an unbeaten 113, for the Royal Challengers Bengaluru.

"The good thing is you have a huge pool to pick from now, there is no dearth of talent in India. One thing that is a big difference, and you can see it over the last 10-15 years, is the progress in the fitness levels of players. Because of this, they can learn much quicker.

"Virat Kohli for example is one of those guys who set a benchmark, and 15 years into his career, he's only gotten fitter. If someone like him, sets an example and puts forward certain things that you need or certain fitness levels that you need, gradually it progresses across the ecosystem," said Agarkar in an episode of SportifywithPRG podcast.

Agarkar, who is the third-highest wicket-taker for India in men’s ODIs with 288 scalps, also highlighted IPL's role in the identification and promotion of talented players from the country at a big level.

"You can see every year, the IPL just keeps throwing up fresh talent. As a selector there are certain players, we are watching out for but there are certain players who suddenly come and show up even on a big stage.

"It is a big stage because of the pressure involved and the big crowds. You might be bowling to the top batters in the world or facing one of the top bowlers, this is where you can judge the temperament of the player and how consistently he can do it," he said.

With a data-centric approach being increasingly adopted in the modern-day cricketing world, Agarkar explained how from a selection perspective, data becomes valuable, though one can’t ignore the gut feeling and performance under pressure in cricket.

"The amount of data that's available, is incredible. You can plan a whole innings and I think everybody does it now, but it doesn't mean it will work all the time. You need a captain on the ground because not everything that you've planned is going to go your way.

"On a particular day it might, but most days it won't. And that's where you need human instinct. That's why you call M S Dhoni a great captain because he had a feel for the game. He knew what was happening and how the game was changing.

"You can have all the numbers at your disposal, but if you have not watched the player, it is difficult. As a coach, captain, or selector you don't form an opinion about anyone until you see them play and how they are under pressure," said Agarkar. (IANS)

    Tags
  • Virat Kohli
  • Team India
  • Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)
  • Indian Premier League (IPL)
  • IPL 2024
  • Ajit Agarkar

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