The coronavirus pandemic had kept the cricketers stuck at home for the past few months. But as professionals, they had to work on their fitness at home to keep themselves ready for cricket at any time.
Everyone has worked on their fitness at home. But it was understood on the first day of individual training that training at home and training at the field are two completely different things. Mushfiqur Rahim, one of the fittest players of the Bangladesh team, had shown signs of fatigue on that day and that had indicated that cricketers were awaiting an uphill battle going forward.
On 19 July, the first day of individual training, Mushfiq lied down on the ground for 15 minutes after finishing his running. Shafiul Islam also sat down after running for 30 minutes. Almost every cricketer accepted the challenge after the first day of training.
Individual training started again on Saturday after the Eid vacations. Eight new cricketers joined in and two of them were Soumya Sarkar and Sadman Islam. They trained on Monday but after training, they were both exhausted.
According to the schedule, Soumya and Sadman had individual batting sessions before running and gym work. But both of them felt trouble while running as it was imminent that it was difficult to do this particular task after such a long time.
Both the batsmen looked tired during their running session. They had set a target of 400 metres each round for running and Soumya had to lie down each time he completed those 400 metres.
Sadman did not lie down but he too had to sit down and take some rest after each round. Both the batsmen took rest for around four minutes after each round. Soumya and Sadman took rest for around 10-12 minutes in their 40-minute running session.
Eight other cricketers also trained on Monday as scheduled. Mushfiq, Mominul Haque, Mohammad Mithun and Anamul Haque did an indoor batting session before running whereas Shafiul Islam, Al-Amin Hossain, Taijul Islam and Aminul Islam Biplob bowled in the academy ground after running.
Generally, the test for the players comes with the bat or the ball. But now, the players are facing an acid test to return to full fitness and almost every cricketer has accepted it. Anamul said after his first day at training that returning to the field turned out to be very difficult. Everyone might not say it, but from the visual evidence, returning to full fitness remains the biggest challenge for the cricketers now.