India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun the Indian cricket team players will have to train for six-eight weeks before being able to play international cricket.

“The four elements that we’ve tried to put in place – running, strength, yo-yo and endurance – we’ll be raising the bar in all those four areas. Whenever the boys are back on the field, these workloads will be way higher and tougher than before. If they have to match up to it, they’ll have to constantly keep working on various aspects of fitness during isolation,” Bharat Arun told The Times of India, adding that the team management needs a 6-8 week window to implement this program.

“Whenever that happens, this will be the priority before we can find ourselves ready for international cricket,” he added.

Arun feels the current lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic will be challenging for cricketers in their prime.

“How long can you keep a racehorse locked up? The horse has to run because that’s the only thing it knows,” he said.

“For a professional sportsperson, to be sitting at home doing nothing can be very frustrating. Not being able to expend that energy is like a curse. It can be boring, can be extremely monotonous. But there’s no choice and therefore it’s a challenge that has to be taken up,” he added.

However, the bowling coach also feels that free time could help some players improve their fitness levels and extend their careers by a year or two.

“It’s a challenge that has to be looked at as an opportunity. It’s a rare window because this kind of time will never be available in a professional career. There’s a lot of time to work on fitness - physical and mental. The latter is extremely crucial. It’s extremely important to remain motivated, be ready to return to full flight when the time comes,” he said.