The attacking batsman and ace wicket-keeper adopted a new diet and fitness regimen, and his performance soared

"Just look at Roger Federer! Even at the age of 35, he is fit, playing consistently well and it does not look like he has broken a sweat!" says the 32-year-old Parthiv Patel about his role model. Safe to say, the left-handed batsman is drawing inspiration from the tennis champion and has made a personal comeback to the international cricket team.

Highs and lows

The attacking batsman and ace wicket-keeper made his international debut in 2002 and was the youngest wicket-keeper of Test cricket. After that, his inclusion in the team has been sporadic. In 2015, he had a successful IPL with the winning team Mumbai Indians, and went on to lead his Gujarat state team in its maiden victory at Vijay Hazare Trophy. He also made a comeback to the international team last year. Ask him about how this turnaround happened and Parthiv attributes it to his stringent fitness routine.

"I start my day with wicket-keeping skills at 8 am till 9:30am. Then, I have my protein shake and move on to my batting skills practice till lunch time. After a nice lunch at home, I hit the gym with my personal trainer. Shanker Basu, who has been the trainer for the Indian Cricket team as well. I follow his training routine and that has helped me tremendously. I do strengths three times a week at the gym, and conditioning sessions twice a week. Running sessions are twice a week on a track or a ground, besides my wicket-keeping drills that involve a lot of running," - explains Parthiv.

Gluten-free diet FTW

And it is not just his workout that has helped him shed all the excess weight. "Three to four years ago, I weighed 75kg. I adopted a gluten-free diet, but increased my protein intake with lots of chicken; and lost over 10 kg in under a year. I did not eat roti or bread, which meant I gave up sandwiches---my comfort food. I ate plenty of grilled chicken and fish. I use protein powders after workouts because the protein from these natural sources were not enough. It has been difficult for me because I come from a vegetarian family. So, there are separate utensils and an oven for me to cook the non-vegetarian food that is required for my game," Parthiv enthuses.

Before a major tournament, Parthiv ensures that he is well hydrated and has been eating well, but relaxes the rules once the tournament is over. He has a very simple explanation - "If you are too strict with yourself then your cravings become so strong that you end up eating too much junk."

Match fit

"There is strict fat measuring that happens every 10 to 15 days, so we are aware that we cannot put on weight. We monitor what we eat. Before a game, we eat adequate carbs so that we have the energy to power through the game," reveals the wicket-keeper. While every cricketer has a personal dietician, who guides them throughout the year, but when they are playing for team India, everything is planned by the trainer and physio of the Indian cricket team.

So, when Parthiv is not training hard, where are we most likely to find him indulging in a guilt-free meal? "Gorging on Japanese food in Wasabi By Morimoto at The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel or bingeing on Thai goodies at Thai Pavilion at Vivanta by Taj-President, both in Mumbai," Parthiv says with a grin.

Watch Parthiv Patel with Hardik Pandya, in conversation with Sandeep Patil on Taste Match, Sunday at 8pm, only on Living Foodz.

Creative courtesy: Vartika Pahuja

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