Any guesses how the Delhi Daredevils have turned the corner this time around? Well, they have simply slept their way to the top.
Sounds bizarre? The team's physiotherapist drills logic into it. "Last season, I realised the players were not getting enough sleep as the matches finished late and we would travel early the next day. Lack of sleep affected their recovery before the next game. This time, I have ensured we travel late in the day so that the players get sound sleep and are fresh for the next game," said Russell, who worked with England for close to a decade. In short, sleep, travel and play have been the Daredevils' mantra and it has worked out well so far. "Conditioning an individual's body to play in a physically demanding tournament like this, which involves a lot of travelling and playing in the heat, is the key," said Russell.
And his advice to the foreign players on how to deal with the harsh Indian summer? Stay hydrated.
"Players like Taylor and Maxwell are from colder places and do face problems coping with the heat. I make sure they keep taking enough fluids to beat the heat."
Russell, who has also worked with the junior England squad, ensures youngsters stay aware of their bodies while the seniors don't lose interest in staying fit. "With young players, it's more about educating them about the strengths and weaknesses of the upper limb, lower limb and trunk. But the real challenge is making the older guys push themselves hard as they sometimes can be closed to new ideas."