File image of Virat Kohli (PTI Photo)NEW DELHI: Virat Kohli has been the fittest Indian cricketer by a distance and a testimony to that is a BCCI report which revealed that at least 23 centrally-contracted Indian cricketers, except the former skipper, required a visit to the National Cricket Academy (NCA) for rehabilitation in 2021-22 season for some or the other injury.
The report prepared by BCCI CEO Hemang Amin details the work done at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) and in the last season.
"A total of 96 complex injuries to 70 players were treated by the NCA medical team during this period," according to the report.
Out of 70 players, 23 were from senior India team, 25 from India A/Targeted, one from India U-19 , seven from the senior Women team and 14 from states.
The 23 centrally contracted players included skipper Rohit Sharma (hamstring), his deputy KL Rahul (post hernia surgery), Cheteshwar Pujara, Shikhar Dhawan, Hardik Pandya, Umesh Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Rishabh Pant, Ishant Sharma, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Mayank Agarwal, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep yadav, Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshear Kumar, Ajinkya Rahane, R Ashwin, Axar Patel and Wriddhiman Saha.
According to an insider, Kohli never in the past one year needed to check in at the Bengaluru's Centre of Excellence for injury or fitness related issues.
"To be fair, a lot of these injuries were on-field. Some were unlucky with fractures (Surya). Some had multiple issues at different times.
"But you have to give it to Kohli's fitness that he has managed himself so well that he never had any hamstring or muscle related injuries, primarily because of the kind of fitness work he does throughout the year," a BCCI source said.
To add a bit of context, the several players who required rehab were 10 years younger to Kohli and had extended periods of various types of injury lay-offs.
The list included youngsters like Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Venkatesh Iyer, KS Bharat, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Sanju Samson, Ishan Kishan, Karthik Tyagi, Navdeep Saini and Rahul Chahar.
In 2018, Kohli had developed back-related (herniated disc) problem which prevented him from playing County cricket for Surrey but since then he has managed it well and is still the fittest senior Indian player on the park.