Chennai: At 42, Herschelle Gibbs still looks fit as a fiddle. A trendsetter at the turn of the millennium with his supreme fitness and fielding alongside Jonty Rhodes, the South African heaped praise on Virat Kohli for raising the bar. But the mercurial Gibbs criticised his contemporary Indian stars for their “lack of hunger” to keep themselves fit.
“Sachin was obviously great, but imagine what he could have done if he was as fit as Kohli. I can’t remember one Indian of the past era who can be termed fit.
Ajay Jadeja wasn’t bad. I guess the past generation never had the hunger to keep themselves fit,” said Gibbs who is in the city for a promotional event.
Gibbs attributed the improvement of Indian cricketers’ fitness and fielding skills to Indian Premier League.
Look at Kohli, he seldom gets tired. Not just him, the current lot has come up leaps and bounds because of the presence of foreign cricketers and coaches. The Indian mentality has to change. It’s not about ensuring the kids get strong technically. They need to become athletes at the age of 12. Then they should decide whether they want to play cricket, football or become an athlete,” added Gibbs, who had represented Deccan Chargers and Mumbai Indians.
After choosing Kohli over AB de Villiers for the former’s ability to deliver under crunch situations, Gibbs said playing in the IPL alone won’t help one grow as a cricketer.
David Miller is a classic example. He hardly plays the longer format in domestic circuit. Where is Darren Sammy now? But look at David Warner. Though he is a dasher, he has come a long way because he plays Test cricket,” said Gibbs. Gibbs picked Chris Gayle as the most powerful batsman he has ever seen.