Q. How has the lockdown been for you so far? Has anything changed?
A. I have never stayed this long in my house. In the beginning, it was problematic but now I have adopted the routine. I wake up and train at the gym at 6 in the morning. Later, I spend some time with my family, and then, in the evening I sleep for some time. After waking up, I play PUBG. I also like to binge on web-series platforms.
Q. How is your fitness routine shaping up?
A. Earlier, I used to wake up for the entire night and hit the gym in the morning, and then after having my breakfast, I would finally go to bed. However, I have changed that routine — I am now going to bed early in the night so that I can hit the gym at 6 in the morning; I train for two hours. Since outdoor activities are restricted, to keep myself fit, I use a treadmill in the evening.
Q. Cricket might resume soon, how ready are you?
A. It’s not in our hands, and we don’t really know when cricket will resume. Nowadays, I am watching my older videos, comparing them with each other to figure out where I have to improve. I think this is helping me mentally as well.
Q. Do you think games without an audience will affect the performance of the players, especially in the energy-charged tournaments like IPL?
A. Whenever we play domestic tournaments there are hardly any people watching us. However, when it comes to IPL, the fans are in abundance. It is so noisy at times that the players have to scream at each other to converse. If games are held with empty stands, we will miss that feeling. However, it is a good move, considering the threat the novel coronavirus poses at people’s lives
Q. What are the ways that you are staying mentally strong and focused amidst these pressing times?
A. I don’t think about the situations which are not in my hands, it perpetuates negativity in your mind. Whenever I play a cricket match, I think about that game rather than my prospects so that I can focus on the match and deliver my best. I don’t think about whether I’d be selected on the next tour or whether my form would prevail? Moreover, I have resumed playing chess to stay more focused.
Q. What inspired you to start Chahal TV and become a journalist to interview your teammates?
A. Journalists are into serious things; however, Chahal TV focuses more on the questions aiming to reveal the other side of the cricketers. The fun aspect, you see? To my surprise, the Indian cricket team media manager suggested that I continue it as people like it a lot. I think people like the videos because they are very brief and entertaining.
Q. What is that one new skill you have acquired during the lockdown?
A. Since my childhood, I loved to dance. We all can dance but it’s very difficult to go by the book — the technicalities, the rhythm, and the body language. Hence, I am learning it online. Moreover, my culinary escapades are worth a mention. I am learning to cook from my mother and sister; however, I must confess that I am too bad.
Q. What’s the one thing you will do after lockdown ends?
A. I will straightaway take a ball and go to the ground. I am missing that a lot. That is where my life belongs. I have a ball right now but cannot deliver it, it is dejecting. I desperately miss the pride of wearing the blue jersey for Team India.