IPL 2020: R Ashwin doubtful against CSK, DC assistant coach Kaif points out ‘sand-based grounds’ for growing injury list

IPL 2020: Ashwin, who picked two wickets in the one over that he bowled, had dived to save a Glenn Maxwell shot and in the process hurt his left shoulder. Ashwin looked in pain after landing awkwardly. He was seen leaving the ground with team physio Patrick Farhart with his left arm in a makeshift sling.
R Ashwin after sustaining an injury in IPL 2020(Screengrab)
R Ashwin after sustaining an injury in IPL 2020(Screengrab)
Updated on Sep 24, 2020 04:33 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

Ravichandran Ashwin, who had suffered a left shoulder injury during Delhi Capitals’ first IPL 2020 match against Kings XI Punjab on September 20, is doubtful for the franchise’s second game against Chennai Super Kings in Dubai on Friday.

“Ashwin is going for practice today and we haven’t taken a call yet if he is going to be available or not for tomorrow’s game. We will see how the practice goes. We are monitoring him very closely. But yes, if he is not fit to play tomorrow, we have Amit Mishra who is very experienced player. He has been doing well in IPL. So yes that’s a plus point in this squad that we have got a replacement ready,” Mohammed Kaif, DC Capitals assistant coach, said in a video conference on Thursday.

The veteran spinner, who picked two wickets in the one over that he bowled, had dived to save a Glenn Maxwell shot and in the process hurt his left shoulder. Ashwin looked in pain after landing awkwardly. He was seen leaving the ground with team physio Patrick Farhart with his left arm in a makeshift sling.

“I was in pain as I left the field last night, but the pain has settled down and the scan reports are pretty encouraging too. Thanks for all your love and support,” Ashwin had tweeted a day after the match.

Long injury list

“Soft tissue injuries will take place a lot because after long lay-off players are coming back. They are trying to give their best shot on the sand-based grounds which is not easy. We are not used to it. Body is not used to it. It is totally different. It’s a big ground (Dubai and Abu Dhabi) so there’s lot of running involved which probably don’t match in training session. Training is about batting, bowling, bit of fielding. But intensity is not that much as match day, so that’s why I feel it is going to be a tough one on the players this season,” Kaif said, when asked whether special precaution needs to be taken in the UAE grounds.

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Ashwin is not an exception. So far, Mumbai Indians’ Nathan Coulter-Nile Royal and Challengers Bangalore Chris Morris have suffered side strains even before playing a match. Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Kane Williamson pulled his quadriceps muscles while training while his teammate Mitchell Marsh has also been ruled of the tournament due to an ankle injury. Chennai Super Kings’ Ambati Rayudu has suffered hamstring injury. His teammate Dwayne Bravo arrived from the Caribbean Premier League with a knee injury.

In the Delhi Capitals camp too, apart from Ashwin, there is another injury concern. Fast bowler Ishant complained of soreness in the back ahead of their first match against KXIP.

“Ishant had gone to the ground yesterday. He had a good run. He didn’t bowl. He is under observation. About his playing against CSK, we will take a call after the practice session (today) Thursday,” Kaif added.

The former India cricketer added that special focus needed to be put in while fielding as most cricketers are coming back after a long break. “Awareness is necessary. It’s a big ground (Dubai and Abu Dhabi). Lot’s of running involved. Lots of sprinting involved. When you field at the big grounds you have to cut those angles. That’s going to be the big factor. You need to be agile,” Kaif said.

“For the last seven or 10 days there has been a change here in the weather. In the evening around 6-7pm there is lot of dew at the ground. At the Dubai stadium, the dew was not that much. At the ICC Academy ground, where we practice, there’s more dew as it’s an open area. Ground fielding is getting difficult. When the ball gets wet and heavy, it’s tough for the players. We have to see that the players don’t get injured due to hard training. Fielding is something that takes time to get settled in after a break.”

Kaif added that the IPL may see more big scores as the tournament progress. “I think the par score is 160-170 for Abu Dhabi and Dubai where the ground is big. Of course, for Sharjah it’s more. But players are rusty now. As they get settled in the par score may become 180-90,” he said.

DC started their campaign with a win against KXIP while CSK won their first game against Mumbai Indian. However, they lost to Rajasthan Royals in the second game.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Abhishek Paul works with the Hindustan Times’ sports desk. He has been covering the beat since 2010 across print and digital mediums.

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