England's Phil Salt reveals secrets behind his sparkling form

Phil Salt reveals a new 3,500 calorie, all-you-can-eat diet and hitting the weights is behind his sparkling form after back-to-back T20 centuries for England in the Caribbean… but fiancee Abi isn’t too impressed!

  • England opener has struck an unbeaten 109 and then 119 against West Indies
  • His big hitting, including 19 sixes, has transformed the T20 series in Caribbean
  • It came after Salt decided to up his daily calories intake by 40 per cent 

Phil Salt has revealed the secret to his record-breaking batting transformation – a combination of an all-you-can-eat diet and weight-training regime.

Salt, 27, decided to bulk up ahead of this Twenty20 tour of the Caribbean and the World Cup that follows here in June, by increasing his daily intake of calories by 40 per cent to 3,500 and trying to turn his extra weight into muscle.

It has had the desired effect, although putting on the pounds – he is 3kg heavier – has meant he has been getting it in the ear from his fiancee Abi.

‘I wanted to make myself stronger, quicker and bigger, basically. Half of it is to ripple out at the beach and half of it is performance-related,’ Salt joked, after becoming the first England player to hit two Twenty20 international hundreds, doing so three days apart.

‘To be fair, I’ve been eating a lot of calories. To get through 3,500 calories a day has been a bit of a job. My missus has been raging because the shopping bill has gone through the roof.

Phil Salt has revealed the secrets to his excellent form after back-to-back tons for England

The big-hitting opener has bulked up to smash more sixes and has hit 109 and then 119

Salt revealed the cost of his bulking up hasn’t gone down too well with his fiancee Abi 

‘I’ve been working in the gym the last few months, trying to put a few kilos on. A bit of that is fat as well, but you can’t win them all!’

Salt, a player renowned amongst his peers for hitting good balls for four has been at the forefront of an astonishing turnaround by an England team who have veered from 2-0 down and staring at another white-ball series defeat to setting up Thursday’s decider at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy by fighting West Indian fire with fire.

Acknowledging it is a necessity to remove outfields – which can be slow in this part of the world, holding the ball up enough for fielders to make boundary stops – from the equation, Jos Buttler’s team have edged the six count 37-30 in their back-to-back wins, led by Salt, who struck nine in an unbeaten 109 in Grenada last Saturday and an England record 10 in 119 here in Trinidad.

‘I’ve worked specifically on hitting sixes over the off-side. I’ve always been good at hitting the sight screen and going over the leg-side,’ he said.

‘But I feel like – Jos said to me when Jason Holder took the pace off wide and I hit it over the offside: teams can’t bowl to you – it’s paying off.

‘You watch someone like Andre Russell, the specimen that he is, and while I am never going to look like him, it’s all about marginal gains. Pound for pound, I think I might have him, but don’t tell him I said that!’

Salt, with an average of 27 and a strike rate of 164 in his debut Indian Premier League season with Delhi, was expected to be in high demand when he went into Tuesday’s auction for the 2024 edition of the competition at a price of £142,500, but came out of it unsold and ‘confused.’

England, however, know the value of a player who, having reached 50 on 32 occasions in T20 matches without reaching three figures, has finally cashed in.

Salt jumps for joy after his unbeaten knock guided England to victory in Grenada on Saturday

Salt smashes one of the 19 sixes he has struck in the past two T20 games in the Caribbean

5th T20 probable teams 

England: Salt, Buttler (capt/wkt), Jacks, Livingstone, Brook, Moeen, Curran, Woakes, Ahmed, Rashid, Topley

West Indies: Mayers, King, Pooran (wkt), Hope, Powell (capt), Rutherford, Russell, Shepherd, Holder, Hosein, Motie

‘To get back to back hundreds is a real statement and not just on his class but how ruthless he’s been,’ said England’s white-ball coach Matthew Mott.

‘Look, I’ve always thought he was an amazing player. He does stuff that not many people can do and we’ve seen it at domestic level for a long time and we’ve seen glimpses of it internationally.

‘It was funny because after he got the first hundred, I said, ‘It’s a habit now,’ and he had true belief in it.

‘As a player he’s spent a lot of time in and out of the team, and you could see a different look in his eyes on Tuesday, like, not only do I belong, but I’ve got this.

‘And all of a sudden now he’s away, his international career is flying. He’s in the record books forever. It’s just been opportunities. He’s come over here, known he’s going to play a large percentage of the games, and has been freed up to to play the way he plays. It’s been great to witness.’

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