It has been a challenging few months for athletes around the globe, with major sporting events, including the Indian Premier League (IPL) taking a hit due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The IPL 2020 is set to lit up the gulf cities in the UAE, and players are leaving no stone unturned to be fighting fit as the cash-rich league is scheduled for a September 19 start.
Such has been the impact of the glitz, glamour and the extravaganza that the IPL brings that several cricketers have found popularity alongside hefty paychecks at the same time. The exposure that they have received playing in the IPL is second to none, and the chance to rub shoulders with the stalwarts of the game is a life-defining experience.
Barring a few players, the IPL is going to be the first assignment since March for most of the players. Lets read through how some of them are gearing up for the melange that is the IPL.
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) August 7, 2020
Virat Kohli’s IPL diaries
Flamboyant batsman Virat Kohli, who is also the leader of the pack at the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will hope that the change in venue brings success to RCB, who are looking to end their long-pending IPL trophy drought. The Indian skipper took to Instagram to post a workout video as he readies himself as another challenging season of the premier T20 league beckons.
One of the fittest athletes around, Kohli will be wanting to lead from the front as RCB will eye to improve on their last-place finish from last season.
Former Australia spinner Brad Hogg has tipped RCB to have a bright campaign with quality additions to their squad. RCB have bolstered their roster, roping in Australia’s 50-over team captain Aaron Finch.
“It will be my first time playing under Virat’s leadership but something I’m very excited about. Having played against him for a number of years now in international cricket and IPL I know how driven and competitive he is, that something I’m looking forward to seeing up close,” Aaron Finch elaborated.
— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) August 3, 2020
MSD’s urge to hit the ground running
The Thala MS Dhoni has been away from competitive cricket since ‘that’ run out against New Zealand in Manchester last summer. He would be itching to get back to action as the Chennai Super Kings would eye another triumphant season.
The captain cool returned to the nets this week to step up his preparation for the upcoming edition. The former Indian skipper hit the ground running at the Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) stadium in Ranchi to get back in training mode.
“He (MS Dhoni) visited the JSCA International Stadium Complex last week. He practised at the indoor facility using bowling machines. He did batting practice for two days over the weekend, but has not returned since,” one of the administrators of the JSCA said.
However, owing to the lockdown, there weren’t too many bowlers available, meaning that MS Dhoni batted against the bowling machines. Dhoni has played 190 IPL games for CSK, scoring 4432 runs apart from leading the side to three IPL titles.
— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) August 7, 2020
Rohit Sharma hopes for IPL record
Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma believes to shrug off the rust and get ready for the IPL is going to be a tough challenge as cricketers have not had any taste of competitive cricket. The batting talisman believes that his team are well-equipped to defend their title in Dubai.
“It’s the longest gap that I have ever had in my career without holding a bat. It will be a bit challenging. Unless I play, I will not know where I am and how I feel but the body is completely fine. I feel physically more strong than ever because of the last four months,” Rohit Sharma said.
The opening batsman will be hoping to win the reigning champions their fifth IPL crown this year.
Kane Williamson’s IPL sojourn
Sunrisers Hyderabad captain Kane Williamson has kicked off his preparations for the IPL season after training at the Bay Oval ground back home in Mount Maunganui in New Zealand.
The Black Caps skipper stated that playing in the IPL will always be special, but teams will find it tougher to fine-tune their preparations.
“Considering what it actually looks like where it is and all the details that come with it, to play in the IPL is always an amazing thing so, absolutely, it will be great to play in it and be a part of it. But there’s a lot of details to come through before any final decisions will be made. It will be nice to know more,” the classy batsman said.
Williamson has played 41 matches in the IPL, scoring 1,302 runs at an average of 39.
It certainly hasn’t been the course that most of the cricketers are used to, but as they’ve done time and again when on the field, they know how to adapt to situations.