CSK players reveal their fitness mantra at a city store
For all his histrionics on the field, Dwayne Bravo appears rather coy off it , or so it seemed when we met him at the Reebok showroom in Alwarpet, along with his Chennai Super Kings teammates, Michael Hussey, Dirk Nannes and Baba Aparajith. Dressed in team jerseys and identical sneakers, the four cricketers spoke about their fitness regimen and also took part in a game to show off their fitness levels. The oldest and the youngest — Hussey and Aparajith formed one team, while Nannes and Bravo formed the other.
Nanda, Reebok’s fitness instructor, did a quick demo of what the teams were required to do — one of the members had to lift a kettle bell while the other had to do 10 shoulder presses with dumb bells; which would be followed by a catching exercise with a medicinal ball. The gangly Aparajith amazed the crowd as he effortlessly squatted seven times with an 8kg kettlebell and Hussey lifted two 4kg dumb bells with the dizzying speed of a battery-operated toy! They finished their task in 22 seconds. The other team was almost as good, but lost out by a second, after fumbling a couple of times. Of course, just as the event was winding up there were numerous requests for Bravo to show off his signature dance step and this time, his teammates had to join him too. Sean Paul’s popular song ‘Temperature’ blared out of the speaker and it took a couple of seconds for Bravo to get into the groove. Aparajith almost got his steps right, Nannes looked mighty amused and as for dear old Hussey, he might have great foot work while batting, but on the dance floor he appeared to have two left feet. But that doesn't deter Chennai-ites from adoring him, does it?
Chocolates are all it takes to transform Bravo into the livewire he is during a match. "Before every game, I eat six chocolates,” he grins. "After a match, I have an ice bath and rest," he replies when asked how he manages to be the charged-up all-rounder right through a game. Being from the West Indies, I am naturally fit. I eat mostly fruits and pasta," he adds.
About the impromptu dance jigs he breaks into every time he contributes to a wicket being taken, he says, "It comes naturally to me. I have taught Vijay a few moves. I tried teaching Hussey too, but he likes to sit back and watch."
When I am not playing cricket I am only thinking about the game, talking about it, watching it and looking at it on the Internet.... I also get to spend time with my family," says Hussey when asked how he spends time when he isn't playing the IPL, and since he has retired from the other two versions of the game.
"I have been lucky out in the middle," says Hussey of his prolific performance in this IPL, so far. "The only difficult thing about Chennai is the heat. We play a few matches here and get used to it but teams coming here for just one match find it difficult."
After spending a considerable amount of time playing and travelling across the country Hussey is now familiar with Bollywood. And who is his favourite actor? "Priyanka Chopra. I haven't had the opportunity to meet her yet; I just get to admire her on television in a camera commercial," he smiles.
Not many know that this fast bowler was earlier a skier. His passion for speed is evident in his quick deliveries to unsuspecting batsmen who are often be beguiled by his disarming smile. Talking of wickets, if on a hat-trick chase which are the three players he would like to see out? Sachin Tendulkar, Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli," he replies.
Incidentally, Nannes's birthday happened to coincide with the day of the event (May 16). His birthday resolutions include maintaining a disciplined diet and running to improve fitness, because he believes if he runs well, he bowls well. As for his diet, he says, "I am a naturally skinny, so I can eat whatever I want to… However, I just watch out for butter and ghee."
And does he have a favourite Bollywood actor? "Deepika Padukone...saw her a few times when I was with Royal Challengers Bangalore," he smiles.
Chennai boy Baba Aparajith, probably the youngest in the team this IPL, looked rather comfortable in the company of his seniors. "Unity best describes CSK and I get to learn a lot from the players," he says, adding that he would like to bowl like R. Ashwin and bat like Rahul Dravid.