Following the lead of the National Basketball Association and the National Football League in the USA, the Indian Cricket Team are also undergoing DNA tests to reveal their genetic fitness blueprint. The Board of Control for Cricket in India has introduced the DNA test on the recommendation of team trainer Shankar Basu, so that a more comprehensive fitness programme for the national team can be established. The test is claimed to help sportspeople improve speed, fat burning, endurance, recovery time and muscle building.

The genetic fitness test is claimed to show how more than 40 genes are related to a person’s fitness, health and nutrition. The DNA data are then combined with the cricketer’s body weight and diet to give an overall analysis.

The move towards DNA analysis follows the team’s earlier trials of the skinfold test to measure body fat percentage, but this was deemed not accurate enough. The permissible body fat percentage limit for a senior national team player is 23%, which is standard for most of the international cricket teams, including Pakistan and New Zealand.

Apparently, some of the cricketers could not understand why, even after rigorous training, they were not able to decrease their fat percentage. The hope is that the DNA test will dictate which kind of diet and exercise are most effective for each player.