Cricketing skill is the most basic requirement for a successful cricketer for many years but in this day and age physical fitness has overtaken this notion. With a completely new era of the sport, players have driven themselves towards fitness. The recent introduction of Yo-Yo Test is a prime example of how the fitness criteria have become even bigger than the players' skill levels and ability. The team managements around the world have set the Yo-Yo Test as a mandatory criterion for a player to qualify for selection. In recent times, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh and Ambati Rayudu all got selected in the squad only to be ousted after failing the Yo-Yo Test. With fitness in focus for all the selectors while picking the national squads, we have selected our own playing X1 of the fittest cricketers in the world.
The English opener is one of the fittest cricketers in the world at present. The destructive batsman is known for his long innings in white-ball cricket, which are only possible if he is super-fit. He is a brilliant athlete as well and saves a lot of runs for his team on the field.
The Indian opening batsmen pays a lot of attention to his fitness. When he's not smashing runs on the field, the cricketer can be found hitting the gym. Dhawan's workout set includes a half-hour warm up session, which comprises glute exercises, mobility training and stretching, after which he engages in a full body workout involving power training. According to Dhawan, he enjoys pumping his biceps the most.
The greatest and the fittest cricketer in the world, Virat Kohli has set his standards so high that they are almost impossible to breach. Over the years, he has made himself into an unbeatable athlete with his dedicated efforts off the pitch. The Indian skipper changed his fitness regime and diet completely to achieve his goals on the field and has made fitness his absolute priority.
Faf du Plessis
The South African skipper is just unbelievable on the field. Known for his gritty knocks, Du Plessis is an outstanding fielder as well. When not on the field, Du Plessis likes to spend his time in the gym. He has been compared to a bird as he flies in the air and somehow traps the ball.
Ajinkya Rahane is known for his extremely correct batting style. Rahane is also an outstanding fielder and has displayed his brilliance in field many a times. Although, he is not as perfectly shaped as some of the others in this list are, he is nevertheless an agile athlete.
Even at this age, MS Dhoni dominates the running between the wickets. Everyone is aware of his wicket-keeping abilities, he is super-fast and has superhuman reflexes. Keeping for 50 overs and then coming out to bat is surely a proof of the fitness he possesses.
The Indian all-rounder is terrific on the field in all three departments. Pandya has emerged out as a fine all-rounder across all the formats of the sport. This has been largely due to his fitness regime. He spends a significant amount of time in the gym daily and follows a well-planned diet.
The all-rounder in the Indian side is terrific on field. His energy on the field is contagious and spreads around in the team. He has a bullet throwing arm that puts off the batsmen from taking quick runs. He is able to bowl long spells in Test cricket due to his superb fitness.
The Pakistani pacer has performed brilliantly in recent years to cement his spot in the ODI team. His athletic ability enables him to bowl long and intense bowling spells. He is also a livewire on the field.
Not only with the bowl in hand, Umesh Yadav also contributes to the team with his strong throws from the deep as well as great efforts in ground fielding. Among the bowlers, Yadav is probably the best fielder India has ever seen.
The young pace sensation from South Africa has impressed one and all with his fast bowling. He has a knack of picking up important wickets upfront with the new ball. Due to his impeccable fitness, he is constantly able to bowl fast and furious. He is brilliant on the field as well with a rocket throwing arm.