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Vomiting and Exhausted! Why Aussie Cricketers Withered in Kolkata

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Australian wicketkeeper Matthew Wade was found on all fours more than a few times during the Indian innings at Eden Gardens. The Aussies are travelling the country for a 5-match ODI series but cricket had very little to do with Wade vomiting on the field and calling the team physio to the middle, on more than one occasion.

Wade though was not the only player struggling as India batted – ice packs and repeated water breaks were the norm as the Aussie cricketers, known to be among the fittest lot in the sport, kept their physio busy at the start of the innings.

But isn't heat and humidity something their body should adapt to? Doesn't being fit mean their bodies should cope with all challenges? Australia, after all, does see months of high-temperature summers as well.

Then what does their wilting form tell us?

Kane Richardson.
(Photo: AP)
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There are many factors at play here, explains Dr Sumit Ray, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine.

People with white skin have difficulty losing heat. So, the body retains the heat and gets overheated, which creates problems. Another major issue with humidity is of dehydration. Not just fluids, you lose a lot of salts like sodium and potassium which are essential to the body.
Dr Sumit Ray

When we overheat, all the processes that keep our metabolism in balance go haywire.

Acclimatisation helps a little, says Dr Ray, but it’s a slow process and can’t compensate for the heat.

Earlier, before any series, there used to be practice matches and the visiting team used to arrive a couple of days before the match to adjust. Now, with such choc-a-block schedules, that’s gone out of the window.

Commercial pressure has also ensured that there are matches throughout the year in every temperature, so playing in such a humid weather can prove exhausting.

Salts like sodium and potassium are important electrolytes, and a reduction in their levels can affect speed and reflexes.

In a situation like this, if you exert, you are likely to get severe cramps, which can affect your mobility and quickness.

This can be prevented to some extent with adequate fluid intake, adjustment to heat, and normal dietary salt intake.

Prep well and take better care, you super fit players!

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