When Virat Kohli started out in international cricket, he wasn't unfit but a bit chubby. In the last few years though, Kohli has turned himself into an icon of athleticism and fitness. Thanks to his highly restricted diet and punishing work-out schedule, Kohli has gained a highly enviable physique.
But for all his commitment to maintaining top-level fitness, there is somewhere, deep down inside the Indian captain, a temptation to enjoy the gastronomical delights which are forbidden. So, when the master batsmen scored 235 against England in 2016, at Mumbai, he decided to let his guard down and savour some of those delicacies which are usually off-limit for him.
The Indian captain told India Today: "When I finished on 235, I was gone, I was cooked, because during the game I don't like to eat heavy, so I was focusing on bananas and water and a little bit of dal-chawal and so on. So Basu sir (Indian team trainer Shanker Basu) told me: 'tonight, you can afford to eat anything you like.'
"But even then I ordered, and I was eating meat that time, I ordered a chicken burger. I took off the top bun, I couldn't stop myself! I said, okay, one piece of bread is okay, not two. But then, I had a big plate of fries and then I had a chocolate shake along with that. Because I knew, my body needs it."
Virat's passion for maintaining high levels of fitness goes beyond his personal well-being. As the captain of the Indian team, he has instituted a very strict fitness regimen for all the players. The most visible part of this is the famous Yo-Yo test. Players who have failed the yo-yo test have been promptly dropped from the side.
The benefits of this policy have been seen in recent times in the on-field brilliance of the Indian team. The fielding has improved by leaps and bounds while the fast bowlers have shown great stamina also. What has helped Kohli, even more, is the fact that the team's head coach – Ravi Shastri is fully on-board with this policy.
While Kohli is possibly the fittest player in the Indian team, he has plenty of competition to motivate him further. The likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja are also known for having good physiques and great athleticism. The collective rise in the standard of Indian fielding is something every fan would be proud of.