IPL 2020 | ‘I was scared, hadn’t picked up a bat for five months’: Virat Kohli on first net session after lockdown
Virat Kohli had his first nets session in almost six months, and the Royal Challengers Bangalore was pleased with the way it panned out. Kohli’s RCB had their first nets session on Friday at the ICC Cricket Academy in Dubai ahead of the 2020 IPL, with the skipper being one of the first cricketers to undergo one entire session. Despite having not picked up a bat in so long due to the lockdown in India, Kohli did just fine, timing the ball so well it was as if he never stopped playing.
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“[It went] much better than expected, to be honest. I was pretty scared. I hadn’t picked up a bat for five months, but yeah it came out better than I thought, to be honest. I’ve trained quite a bit during lockdown, so I’m feeling quite fit and that helps,” Kohli told the franchise website.
“Because the body is light and you react better, I feel like I have more time on the ball. That’s a big plus. Otherwise you come heavier into the season, the body isn’t moving as much, and it starts playing on mind, but yeah, as I said it went much better than I expected.”
RCB have traditionally not fared well in the previous editions of the IPL, their two best performances coming in 2009 and 2016, when the team reached the final but finished runner-up. At the IPL 2020 auction in December last year, the team made a few smart buys, including acquiring Australia’s limited-overs captain Aaron Finch for Rs 4.4 crore. But while Finch promises to solve some of RCB’s batting woes, the team’s bowling in the death has been its Achilles’ heel.
To help share the bowling duties, especially in the spin department, besides Yuzvendra Chahal, RCB have the option of banking on the likes of Washington Sundar and Shahbaz Nadeem, both of whom have played for India. And judging by the way they fared in the nets, Kohli remained optimistic.
“The spinners looked pretty good for day one, they pitched the ball in consistent areas for long enough,” Kohli said. “Shahbaz was good, Washy was very good, I saw Chahal bowl well too. The seamers went through their motions a little bit. All in all, a decent start to our camp.”