When he’s not on the field, the cricketer can be found pumping his biceps at the gym or taking his kids for a swim. 

 

  • My mantra in life is to be happy and give my best. The right attitude for any sportsman is to give his 100 per cent to the game. Whether you are practising or playing a match, stay within the limits of the rules and play the best you can.

 

  • During tournaments, my main aim is to maintain my strength. I try to do 2 or 3 gym sessions per week, along with 1 or 2 cardio sessions, and I also engage in a lot of mobility training. I hit the gym thrice a week for weight training, plus two cardio sessions. I also do a lot of yoga and enjoy power-lifting.

 

  • My workout set includes a half-hour warm up session, which comprises glute exercises, mobility training and stretching, after which I engage in push press — basically, it’s a full body workout involving power training, lateral pull downs and sit-ups. I concentrate a lot on my core. I enjoy pumping my biceps the most, while glute workouts are quite boring.

 

  • When it comes to facing an opponent, I find it important to observe their strengths and weaknesses by watching previous footage of them playing. Together with my skills and my judgment of the pitch, I formulate a basic plan. I enter the stadium with a game plan of A, B or C, and then based on the flow and how I am connecting the ball, I decide on whether I need to be aggressive or go slow.

 

  • I maintain a balanced diet, which includes a good amount of proteins and carbohydrates. I eat a lot of vegetables, which give me necessary vitamins. I watch what I eat for 3 to 4 days and then have one day to indulge. I eat tandoori chicken, fish with mashed potatoes, broccoli and sautéed vegetables as a part of my healthy diet, and on my cheat day, I like to eat aloo parathas, dosa, chicken curry and mutton rogan josh. I train a lot, so I burn all the calories and also keep my skin’s pores in check. People have a misconception that sportsmen need a protein-heavy diet. I believe carbohydrates are necessary to boost energy.

 

  • I have had a lot of fractures in my hand, owing to my batting style, as a result of which I have been out of action for at least 4 to 6 weeks. During that period, I ensure I get adequate rest, along with rehab sessions and skill-building activities to regain my strength for the next game. Recently, I twisted my ankle and I had to sit out during a match against Pakistan. These are situations when you need to be smart, not over-exert and take enough rest to prepare yourself for the next game.

 

  • Cricket is a high-pressure and physically demanding game, so rest and relaxation become essential. Each cricketer has their own ways and means to relax. I prefer to relax by getting a good hour of sleep.

 

  • I like chilling with my childhood friends, who come home often, and watching movies. Of course, I love spending time with my family, my wife and kids. I often take my kids swimming.

 

  • It is very important to win, but at the same time, I respect the fight too. The long hours of training and understanding your opponent’s techniques are driving factors for me. In the end, putting on a great show is what matters.

 

  • The more you love your game, the more you will enjoy it. I am very proud to be a sportsman, because it disciplines you and keeps you healthy.