IPL 2020: Kohli and his RCB mates show no signs of rustiness
If anything, the players seemed like ducks taking to water, which left even coach Simon Katich mighty impressed.
They were treading into the unknown, not knowing what to expect but, at the end of it, they came out with flying colours.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore, led from the front by the vibrant Virat Kohli, got down to work, in the run-up to this season's IPL, following the mandatory quarantine and Covid tests.
They were stepping onto a cricket field after months but on the evidence of it, there was no rustiness. If anything, the players seemed like ducks taking to water, which left even coach Simon Katich mighty impressed.
Kohli, known for his unparalleled work ethic, had a good hit at the nets at the ICC Cricket Academy in Dubai and while he admitted that there was a bit of trepidation before the session, Kohli revealed that he felt in the zone.
"Much better than expected, to be honest," Kohli said after a nearly one-hour session.
"(I was) Pretty scared. (I) Haven't picked up a bat for five months but it just 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 as your body is light, you can react better. So, (I) feel like I have more time on the ball and that's a big plus.
"Otherwise, if you come heavier into the season then your body is not moving as much, and starts playing into your mind. As I said, much better than expected," he added.
The 31-year-old also had an eye on his teammates and said that the spinners hadn't lost their touch.
"The spinners looked pretty good for day one. They pitched the ball in consistent areas for long enough. Shahbaz (Ahmed) was good, Washy (Washington Sundar) was very good, I saw (Yuzvendra) Chahal bowl well too. The seamers went through the motions a little bit today. All in all, a decent start to our camp," Kohli opined.
The Indian skipper, who is expecting a baby with wife and actor Anushka, looked to be in fine fettle as he hooked a bouncer from a left-arm pacer.
The sound of the bat hitting the ball was loud and clear as he middled it to perfection. And the aggressive intent in the shot saw the ball dispatched in the blink of an eye.
Meanwhile, it didn't long for pace ace Dale Steyn to hit his strides and the South African said it was good to be back.
"Nice to get out even after months of not being like training like actual cricket. It is like second nature, I just sit down and I start doing everything like I did it yesterday. So, excited and hopefully I don't pull up stiff," said Steyn.
Coach Katich had only words of praise for his wards.
"Considering the conditions and considering it is their first hit for a number of them, for a while, they are outstanding," said Katich.
"Lot of them had nearly an hour in the nets, which, very hot in these conditions, so, to be able to do that was credit to them but also the fact that some of the boys did an hour's worth of bowling, the spinners, before they went into bat. So, we were impressed with what they were able to do and the timing was great to watch," added the former Australian batsman.
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