Ace cricketer SHIKHAR DHAWAN, in conversation with Guardian 20, talks about life in self-quarantine, his fitness regime, and his love for aloo paratha, chai and cricket.

At a time when the coronavirus pandemic is wreaking havoc globally, more and more celebrities are seen not just urging people to observe self-quarantine and social distancing, but also doing household chores. Shikhar Dhawan, who opens for Team India, gave a glimpse of his life during quarantine through a hilarious video clip he shared on the social media showing how he was washing clothes as his wife Ayesha was busy doing her make-up. The dashing left-hander speaks to Guardian 20 about his life in quarantine. Excerpts:

Q. What are you doing to keep yourself occupied during the ongoing lockdown?

A. Personally, I am enjoying myself. After a long time, I am able to take out time to relax and be with nature. I can feel the moments as there is no rush. Still, I take out time to gym, play flute, meditate and run indoors to practise running between the wickets.

Q. How was your experience in ‘Kitchen, Khanna & Konversations’?  Do you follow any specific diet?

A. I am very happy to a part of ‘Kitchen, Khanna & Konversations’. Chef Vikas Khanna and Quaker Oats seem to be the perfect combination to get some cooking tips and I had a great time at the shoot. The recipes were so easy to whip up and were delicious as well. The versatility of his cooking and the ease with which he can convert bland ingredients into amazing dishes are mind-blowing. I am sure I will incorporate many of them in my daily routine.

I love chia seed pudding with fruits and an avocado toast. Aloo-paratha is one of my favourites as it’s very tasty, but unfortunately, I cannot eat it every day. Also, I love drinking chai. In terms of diet, I focus on eating light and fresh food. For me, it is about maintaining the right balance. If you eat the right amount of food and pack on all the essentials, you can definitely indulge in your favourite dishes from time to time.

 Q. As a sportsperson, what do you turn to when you need nutrition and comfort food?

A. As a sportsman, I always make it a point to grab a good, scrumptious breakfast every morning and this is also my most loved meal in a day. Oats are a perfect source of energy and nutrition to keep me running throughout the day. They are super healthy, incredibly nutritious and diverse on flavour notes. Dal and soaked almonds are also my favourites to indulge in. I always look for food that will help me endure all the high-intensity workouts we as cricketers have to undergo.

Q. What does your training session usually look like?

A. Just like my fellow cricketers, I also follow a strict fitness regime which includes several workouts and a proper training schedule. I am also very conscious about what I consume. Enjoying breakfast is a practice I’ve been following right from childhood and it also is my most favourite meal of the day. I feel that while training right is important, it is equally important to eat right as well. Currently, my workout regime at home includes exercises with Kettlebell as well as squats and deadlifts. I do exercises to target the chest, back and core muscles. I focus on the triceps and biceps exercises as well.

Q. You are often seen playing around with your son Zoravar, how does having your kid around help your cricket?

A. Yes, it helps. I enjoy playing with him. The best thing is that I am always moving and doing some physical activity, rather than sitting. Other than that, the best fact is that I get happy when I play with my son. Zoravar has also started playing cricket and he is enjoying himself. More than from me, he listens and learns from his coach, but I am happy that he is learning.

 Q. You have achieved so much in your life. What is the one thing you aim for now?

A. My aim is to keep playing in the coming years, keep performing well for my team and keep enjoying the journey. I don’t usually think that much about the future, I want to focus on my game right now and look towards what I can learn from the game and its players.

Q. Any tips for the budding cricketers on their food and fitness regimes?

A. Having a routine is essential for any sportsperson. My only advice to all budding players would be to exercise, eat healthy and on time, load up on water and practice hard.

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