Watch: Virat Kohli’s unusual training with special mask ahead of India v Pakistan | locust

Pakistan’s landslide victory over Hong Kong paved the way for the second round of one of world cricket’s biggest rivalries – India v Pakistan. Yes, twice in two weeks, the mother of all battles will come to the Dubai International Stadium and to your TV screens as part of the 2022 Asian Cup. And ahead of the highly anticipated clash, one and Virat Kohli decided to test himself like never before as he went through an unusual training session at the ICC Cricket Academy Ground in Dubai. Kohli, who returned to top-flight cricket thanks to the Asian Cup and started quite well with scores of 35 and an unbeaten 59 is ready to take it to the next level as another thrilling Indo-Pakistani contest the waits.

Two days before the match, India held an optional training session, which does not require all players to attend. Ideally, the best players don’t make it, but on Friday Kohli committed to it and pulled off a practice that we haven’t seen him do. Kohli wore one of those high-altitude face masks, one that makes you feel what it’s like in the hills, where the air pressure is low. Kohli has been spotted wearing the same masks, but all previous instances have been while training at the gym. It was one of the few occasions Kohli trained with the mask on.

Kohli performed short sprints in the field. He completed a sprint, took a 30-second break, and started again, a cardio activity that improves heart and lung capacity. And masks at high altitudes create a situation where the supply of oxygen is choked off and a very limited amount gets into your lungs. Ideally, when someone is visiting the hills, it is advisable not to run a lot and instead acclimatize the body to the conditions. But for Kohli to do so suggests that the former India captain is preparing his body to prepare to perform more on less oxygen, so that once he runs without a mask, the result is much better.

Another example of this is athletes who bind their legs together with gigantic tires and sprint. It’s done because in this scenario they have to put in more energy, so when it comes time for the big competition, the race becomes easier and the pace increases. Likewise, without the mask, Kohli’s performance will improve compared to when running with the gear. He can run well between the wicket, the pitch and follow Kohli’s practice, we guess that’s exactly what he intended to do.

So far, Kohli has been looking absolutely fine since his comeback. Although the stick may have felt rough in places, the same cannot be said for its performance on the pitch. However, as this is still just the start, Kohli probably doesn’t want to take a risk and tick all the boxes as India prepare for some interesting matches involving Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan in the Super Four and most likely, the Asian Cup. final.


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