Chennai Super Kings (CSK) pace bowler Deepak Chahar has said that working on fitness, doing strength training and maintaining good eating habits are the key to becoming a fast bowler, adding that one has to be mentally very strong to make a mark at the international level.
Chahar, who himself is recovering from a right quadriceps injury he sustained during the third and final T20I against the West Indies at Kolkata in February and has not yet been risked by his franchise so far in IPL 2022, said that to play at the highest level as a bowler for long periods, one needs to “worship” his body.
“Work on your fitness, strength and then obviously your eating habits… that has to be good because if you don’t have good eating habits and you are not strong, then you can only sustain for (a) certain time. Then, if you want to play (at a)higher level and for a long period, you have to worship your body. That is the most important thing I would say because there is no fast bowler without health and fitness. So, I think that is the most important point,” opined Chahar.
CSK bowling coach, Lakshmipathy Balaji, added that while batters benefit more from coaching in academies, bowlers are mostly self-taught as the art comes naturally to them.
“If you go to any academy, only batting coaches have always been there, because most likely the bowlers are taken care on their own because bowling is very natural. According to me, the extension of running is bowling. First you need to have a solid running behaviour like you need to enjoy running, fast bowling especially is a tough art. Fast bowling in not easy, so you have to be very strong mentally,” said Balaji.
“During my competitive days, I had to get up around 3:30 in the morning and take three modes of transport, as well as running, and take the first train and then for one running session. I used to do a lot of things and it is not only me — Kapil Dev, (Javagal) Srinath have followed the tough yards. So, if you see, all these fast bowlers are really working hard, because unless you have a very good hardware, the software of by-product wickets will not happen (sic),” said Balaji.
“You need to develop your hardware, that is your body, respect your body and there is always one thing which I believe in fast bowling is just enjoy the sport. It is not that everybody can get that craft, so always be very kind of the craft, what God has given you… make sure you justify the craft. That is what I did and that is what my heroes have done in the past (sic).”