Shirtless, the photo of Navdeep Saini walking on a synthetic track stands out in his Instagram feed. Clicked at the Karan Stadium in Karnal in the first week of June, the fast bowler looks ripped and lean. “Since Unlock 1 (which the government announced on May 31 after a nationwide lockdown since late March), I have regularly visited the local stadium for my running drills. I am a pacer and running is important for my leg strength and rhythm,” Saini, who is one of the few India pacers to have managed to start bowling at the nets post lockdown, said over the phone.
“There was no cricket but my training did not stop. I am lucky that my father has a farm here which is big and I could get enough space for the exercises that I usually do.”By usual exercise, he meant yoga, balancing drills and weight training. He has also started bowling at the nets at a cricket academy in Karnal, a city in Haryana that is part of the National Capital Region.But despite following all the routines prescribed by the India team management with the facilities available, will it be easy to get back to rhythm back quickly?
“Under normal circumstances, by this time, IPL would have been over and the preparations for the T20 World Cup would have started in full swing.
“I was living my dream, playing for India all over the world and out of nowhere, here is a situation where I can’t even go out of my house,” said Saini.