Talent was never an issue with Shikhar Dhawan, consistency was. For all those who have followed the Delhi batsman in domestic cricket since 2004, the only thing they questioned was his temperament.
Time and again, Dhawan would throw his wicket away playing poor shots at crunch situations, showing clear signs of recklessness. But all that seems a thing of the past as Dhawan has dealt mostly in centuries ever since making his comeback into the national team. Be it in Test matches or ODIs, playing long knocks seems to be a habit for Dhawan. And both the batsman and his coach Madan Sharma feel that yoga has helped calm down and the results have followed.
Sharma said yoga has been the secret of Dhawan’s success in his second coming as an India player. The coach added that the calmness and maturity that one witnesses in Dhawan now is the effects that the meditation technique has had on him.
“I was speaking to him a couple of days back ( in England) and he confessed that yoga has helped him become calmer which helps him when he is batting. He hasn’t done anything new when it comes to his technique. His work ethics have always been immaculate, but his thought process has changed and we both feel that credit should be given to his yoga guru — Manoj Kumar — for this,” Sharma told Mail Today.
“Earlier, he used to be very impulsive which didn’t help his cause as he would play a rash shot at the wrong time. But now, he is ready to grind it out in the middle.
Yoga has helped him focus his aggression in a positive direction and he has become far more controlled in his approach.” Manoj feels that Dhawan has been an excellent student and a quick learner.
“As professional sportspersons, cricketers are already a lot fitter. So I designed a set of yoga exercises especially for them that involve improving their body balance, breathing capacity, flexibility and most importantly focus.
“And Dhawan has been able to channelise his energy in a positive direction after he started doing yoga. He has been an excellent student and motivating him has never been an issue. Sometimes I train him at his home and at other times, at the ground during a training session or after a match and he has always given his 100 per cent,” he told Mail Today.
Elaborating on the major exercises that Dhawan does, Manoj said: “ He practises pranayam, surya namaskar, headstand, shoulderstand, backbend and other balancing postures. Basically, I work on his cardio system and breathing because as a cricketer he needs to conserve power over long periods of time. Even Dhawan has confessed that he is far more diligent in decision-making than he used to be.”
Manoj says that the sessions with Dhawan generally last for an hour or two — depending on the requirement— and his major focus has been on the concentration level and focus of the batsman.
Reproduced From Mail Today. Copyright 2013. MTNPL. All rights reserved