|SPORTS & WELLNESS|
Itís not that one of the owners at Kings XI Punjab had a flash in a dream or a Eureka moment while lounging by the pool one fine morning and just signed up Paul Valthaty out of nowhere. No, thatís not the way it happened.
In fact, Kings XI getting hold of Valthaty was a bit fortuitous. Had it not been for another Mumbai player, Abhishek Nayar, the Kings would never have got Valthaty on board. Nayar knew Valthaty as an extremely hardworking cricketer, a Ďbelterí of the ball, a more-than-ordinary bowler, and as someone who never had luck on his side. (Both players are from Mumbai). So, when Nayar recommended Valthatyís name to Kings XI Punjab, he knew what he was doing.
In 2002, Valthaty was part of an under-19 World Cup squad that included the wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel, who made his India debut mere months later, and Irfan Pathan, the medium pacer. Valthaty started the tournament with a half-century against Canada and though he failed with the bat against South Africa, his catch to dismiss Hashim Amla ó Graeme Smith, Davey Jacobs and Ryan McLaren were also part of the SA team ó was pivotal to India defending a modest total in that match.
But just then, disaster
was waiting to happen. In the next game of that World Cup against
Bangladesh, a delivery took off from a length and struck Paul under the
eye. India lost, and bowed out in the semi-final. Valthaty's tournament
was over, and his career on hold for the foreseeable future.
It took him more than four years to finally get hold of the coveted Mumbai cap. A one-day game against Baroda (in 2006) is all that he has played.
The next time he surfaced, it was with the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL in 2009. But he made little impact in the couple of games that he got in South Africa. Even in the Kingsí opening match of IPL 4, Valthaty fell cheaply. It was a revenge match of sorts, if not for the Kings, at least for the Pune Warriors. Pune, led by Yuvraj Singh, defeated Kings rather easily. But in the next match at Mohali, Valthaty exploded out of nowhere to slam an unbeaten century as Kings beat Chennai Super Kings. Suddenly, Valthatyís name was on everyoneís lips.
Before the start of IPL 4, the most famous Paul in the sporting world was the late German octopus of the same name, who so successfully predicted results of matches at the last FIFA World Cup. But after that match in Mohali, Valthaty emerged as the most famous Paul around.
"I have just taken a small step towards my destination,í Valthaty said after that innings in Mohali and followed it up with another match-winning performance in the next game against the Deccan Chargers. In this match, he surfaced as a genuine all-rounder, taking four wickets and scoring a brisk 75. "I have still not fulfilled my dream,í he said after the win over Chargers.
After that innings at Hyderabad, Valthaty was the top scorer in the league, tied with Sachin Tendulkar at 201 runs from three innings. He was sharing the orange cap with Tendulkar! But itís not the orange cap in the IPL that Valthatyís after. Itís the blue one that he wants to wear.
His chance of wearing the India cap can come pretty soon, with the Indian team scheduled to tour the West Indies right after the IPL and with some senior players likely to be rested.
"I want to keep my feet firmly on the ground. I have played well in two matches of the IPL but itís a long tournament. And I want to help my team win more matches," says Valthaty. He seems to have a wise head on his shoulders, and at 27, itís not too late for him to be making his debut for the Indian team.
The opening season of the IPL had also thrown up some new faces in the form of Manpreet Gony and Swapnil Asnodkar. After that, both were given chances at a higher level by the selectors but both failed to grab them. Even Ravindra Jadeja came into prominence after his strong showing for Rajasthan Royals. But he, too, failed to cash in on that. Delhiís Shikhar Dhawan was considered as the next big batsman after a couple of great knocks in the under-19 World Cup in Dhaka some years ago. But he never fulfilled that initial promise. Cricket is full of such examples of very talented players failing to make it big after the initial burst.
So, itís early to say whether Valthaty will become the next Virender Sehwag. He just might fade away. But heís grabbed everyone attention after those two rockstar performances in the IPL. Now, will he grab the subsequent opportunities that are bound to come his way soon? The answer to that one rests squarely on his broad shoulders.
If the rising heat and strenuous exercise combo is not really working out for you; and if you are literally drowning in sweat, do not despair. You do not have to put your exercise programme on the back burner just because it is too hot to workout. There are a lot of alternatives and twists you can add to your workout regime, and save yourself a truckload of sweat.
Go indoors: Now is the time to go for that gym membership you have been eyeing for ages. Working out in an airconditioned environment will be a big help. You will feel comfortable and will be able to exercise at a good intensity without feeling totally drained. Another plus; you will still look good at the end of your workout.
Invest in a home gym:
Do away with the driving, the parking, etc; all the hassles, which
increase your heat quotient. If you have the money, as well as space (airconditioned);
make yourself a home gym. In addition, if you want to splurge, throw in
a personal instructor for a few months to know your way around one.
Exercising in the cool comfort of your own gym is a sure fire way to
beat the heat.
Juggle your timings: If walking is your thing, then just juggle your timing. Summer is the best time to opt for morning walks. Morning walkers should try to finish their walk before the day gets warm and evening walkers can push their walk towards late evenings to avoid the heat. You can also try to walk near a water body, as it is cooler near water.
Try yoga: Yoga is a low-impact exercise and involves only some aerobic movement. Yoga improves flexibility, muscle strength and endurance. It can be adapted to any fitness level and can be done in the comfort of your own cool home.
Swim away the heat: Perhaps the single best summer exercise is swimming. It not only cools you down but also provides a good strenuous workout. It burns a substantial amount of calories and when done properly, works every major muscle group in the body. That, too, without sweat.
Lower your workout intensity: When training in the heat, you do not have to work as hard to elevate the heart rate. Consider this, and adjust down your current workout pace accordingly.
Adjust clothing: Clothes should be made of fabrics that help pull moisture away from your body and allow it to evaporate. You should choose fabrics that help promote sweat evaporation and cooling by letting more air pass over your body. Give importance to the weight and size of summer clothes. Opt for lightweight, loose-fitting clothes. Dark colours absorb heat; light colours make you feel cool. Ultimately, your summer clothes profile should be breathable, lightweight, light-coloured and loose fitting. Try the dry-fit range of clothes available at major sports retail outlets. Do not skip on the socks. Light cotton socks will protect the feet and help whisk the sweat away.
Clean the house: Doing chores around the house definitely feel like work, but it can be a good workout, too. So why donít you give Gangu bai a rest and get to work yourself, or do at least a part of it. Light housework such as dusting, taking out the trash, organising and changing the sheets burns about 170 calories an hour for a 150-pound person. Heavier, more intense chores such as sweeping the floor, washing windows, scrubbing the floors and cleaning out the garage can burn more than 250 calories an hour.
Now that your exercise options are taken care of, do remember to drink enough water and eat light foods and extra fruits to keep your cool this summer. Water is necessary to keep your temperature regulated and your body functioning properly. A minimum of four litres of water per day is ideal, especially in hot weather. In addition, if you exercise, be sure to drink several litres more, depending on how much you sweat.
Foods generate metabolic heat when the body breaks it down. So, to beat the heat, avoid larger meals. Instead, have small meals more often. Also, try to make various thirst- quenching summer fruits a major part of your diet. They will provide you with various nutrients and keep you cool.