“Please call your gymnastics coach and thank him” – When India’s strength and conditioning coach assumed Rishabh Pant to be a ‘gymnast’

Conditioning Coach Shankar Basu
Conditioning Coach Shankar Basu

Conditioning Coach Shankar Basu: Former India strength and conditioning coach Shankar Basu recently revealed how flexible and acrobatic star wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant has been since his early days in international cricket in 2018.

Apart from being an incredibly explosive batsman and a really entertaining character, Pant has also been seen doing different acrobatics either in videos posted on Instagram or when he is on the field.

Speaking on YouTube channel ‘Beerbiceps’ last month, Basu recalled an incident when he misinterpreted Rishabh Pant as someone who had a personal gymnastics coach:

Shankar Basu on importance of gymnastics for youngsters like Rishabh Pant

“I remember seeing Rishabh in Sri Lanka. He came first in Nidahas Trophy and West Indies. In Nidahas Trophy, I remember him knowing you are an exceptional gymnast. Please call your gymnastics coach and thank him what are you doing now?” He was like, ‘What?’ He was shocked. He can do kick-ups, front flips, and backflips. You must have seen it in TV. And because of that he has got that explosive ability.”

Shankar Basu on importance of gymnastics for youngsters like Rishabh Pant

Shankar Basu has been a household name in Indian cricket as he helped transform Virat Kohli into a fitness beast over the past decade.

Kohli has been quite vocal about how fitness has helped him perform better than expected and Basu has the same advice for any young athlete. He gave an example of how the son of former Indian cricketer Sridharan Sriram is doing well after taking gymnastics seriously:

“I think he (Rishabh Pant) did a lot of gymnastics in his formative years. Same is the case with Sreedharan Sriram’s son. He wanted to start training. I said, ‘Sriram, put him into gymnastics, ‘ And of course, he’s playing very well now.

“Gymnastics plays a major role in development as an athlete. Not all of them will have the opportunity to do it, but if you are capable from a very young age, there is nothing like it.”

Rishabh Pant is just 24 years old and has already achieved incredible success in all formats in his career. If he continues to be as acrobatic as ever, he will probably rule the next decade of international cricket.