Ever wanted to know what a victorious, century-making Test captain eats on a match day?
Well, Australia skipper Steve Smith is the perfect case study after conquering India’s best to post a match-winning 109 in the first Test in Pune and guide his side to a 1-0 series lead.
Unlike the unpredictable conditions he faces in the heat of battle, Smith and his teammates are stuck in routine during a Test match, which is why the 27-year-old likes to vary his diet where possible.
“I think playing over here and being here for such a long period of time you get a bit sick of eggs for breakfast,” explained Smith when asked what his match-day diet consists of.
“I mix it up every now and then and get some cereal and I try and change it up to just try and keep things interesting.
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“Then just proteins to try and recover as much as possible, it can be quite draining out in the middle so you need to try and recover as well as you can.”
Smith’s counterpart, India captain Virat Kohli, is a model of fitness and discipline and takes his diet as seriously as he does facing a rampaging Mitchell Starc.
“Kohli takes almonds, pistachios, cashew nuts, apricots at breakfast,” teammate Umesh Yadav told India Today last September in Kanpur.
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“He loves his protein shakes after workouts. For lunch, which we have arranged for the team, the menu includes grilled chicken, grilled fish, lamb chops and juices.
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“One thing which I noticed was that Virat wants to have a lot of dry fruits.
“What we serve for the Indian team in dinner isn’t different as most players follow the same diet.”
The Australian camp has had a few uneasy moments when it comes to stomach health this tour, most notably youngster Matthew Renshaw in Pune, but those issues won’t hold back the tourists after Smith confirmed an unchanged XI on Friday.
Gone are the days of SOS calls to headquarters for some home comforts to be delivered like the 1,900 cans of baked beans shipped to India during Australia’s 1998 tour.
Shane Warne was reported to be the driving force behind the cargo drop but has since denied that he made the request and has preached “taste the culture of the country that you’re in”.
“I think we were in India for something like 11 or 12 weeks and Geoff Marsh, the coach, pulled out a little tin of spaghetti,” Warne said on Wide World of Sports in December, 2014.
“We all go ‘ohhh, what we wouldn’t do for one of those tins of spaghetti’.
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“‘Don’t worry, I’ll call Cricket Australia, we’ve got the one-dayers coming up’ (Marsh said).
“Suddenly three tonnes have come (labelled) ‘urgent: Shane Warne. Baked beans’.
“It just became one of those old wives’ tales that all I lived on for 12 weeks in India was baked beans.”
India squad (for first two Tests): Virat Kohli (c), Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravichandaran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Karun Nair, Jayant Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Abhinav Mukund, Hardik Pandya.
Australia XI: David Warner, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith (c), Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Mitchell Marsh, Matthew Wade (wk), Mitchell Starc, Stephen O’Keefe, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.
Australia’s schedule in India
Feb 17-19, Tour match v India A, Mumbai
Feb 23-27, First Test: Australia won by 333 runs, Pune
Mar 4-8, Second Test, Bengaluru
Mar 16-20, Third Test, Ranchi
Mar 25-29, Fourth Test, Dharamsala