Rao explained how he began working with the U-19 lads about 18 months ago. “It’s not that these boys were unfit when we started working on them, but it was important to first screen each one of them for a fair idea about where every individual stands. This initial process of accurate pre-habilitation played a huge role in ensuring the boys maintained their fitness levels later on and eventually also reduced our workload during the tour,” Rao told MiD DAY on the sidelines of a felicitation function for the U-19 world champions in the city yesterday.
India U-19 team’s physiotherapist R Srinivas Rao
Rao said his role was crucial during sudden injuries. “Since most of the boys were fit at the outset, our role was mostly to fine tune this fitness as and when minor injuries cropped up,” added Rao.
Rao admitted to having developed an emotional bond with the team too. “As, we have been working together for the last two years, we share a strong emotional connect with these boys. We feel like proud parents today,” said Rao.
Rao hailed skipper Chand as a leader in fitness too. “If you ask me who is fittest of them all, I feel it’s Chand and pacer Sandeep Sharma. Harmeet Singh has improved a lot,” Rao signed off.