Not many players in the cricketing world can pull off acrobatic stunners with the ease and flair as Ravindra Jadeja does on the field. Be it his gravity-defying dives, or his pin-point throws at the stumps, Jadeja’s intervention on the field has swung many matches away from the opposition.

The ball leaves his left arm like a tracer bullet. Take a look at this action from IPL 2021, when Jadeja produced a sensational effort to run out KL Rahul. He charged down the ground from extra cover, picked up the ball, and sent the stumps flying with his bullet throw.

Jadeja has been the poster boy of the fitness revolution brought upon by M S Dhoni in the Indian cricket ecosystem. In his recent interview with MansWorld, Jadeja talked about the importance of fitness to establish oneself in modern games.

“For an athlete, fitness is the priority, and you can never compromise on it. The level of fitness is a relative term, players were fit even back then but now the style of game and formats have changed and the schedule is very demanding as well, which means a player must be in the best shape possible to compete match after match,” said Jadeja. 

He also talked about how much cricket has changed over the last decade. “In the recent years, we have seen great performances in terms of incredible fielding, running between the wickets, hitting those unbelievable strokes as a batsman but the greatest thing is that it’s now the new normal.”

Of late, YoYo Test has been adopted as a yardstick to measure a player’s fitness. Many prominent cricketers, including Prithvi Shaw and Varun Chakravarthy, lost out their places in the squad for failing to clear the YoYo Test.

On being asked about how young players can pass this Test, Jadeja emphasised that they should never compromise on fitness standards. 

“My first piece of advice is to dream big. This has been my motto since I burst onto the scene in 2006. I’m a firm believer that if you want to accomplish greatness or perform at the top level, you must dream big.”

“Another thing I’d like to emphasise is that an athlete should never compromise on fitness standards, if a person is fit then any form fitness test will never be challenge. Young players must ensure that they have a sound mind as well as a sound body, since there will be hurdles at every stage,” he added.

Last year, sportswear brand ASICS appointed Jadeja as a brand ambassador. Jadeja credited ASICS for making him feel secure with their technologically advanced gears.

“I am happy to be part of this journey with the brand and working towards unlocking the unique power of sport to uplift our minds. Good quality gear is extremely important in unlocking a player’s 100% potential because it lets the athlete focus on just the game. ASICS’ gears make me feel secure and confident at every step, thanks to their technologically advanced products,” he said about the collaboration.