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IPL 2020: Players will find their touch soon, says Kaif

James Jose /Dubai
Filed on August 28, 2020
Mohammad Kaif (right), assistant coach of the Delhi Capitals. (Twitter)

The cricketers taking part in the IPL in the UAE are coming off a lockdown and could be rusty, but Kaif said that skills are permanent

It may feel like eons ago since they held a bat or ball and stepped onto a cricket field but Mohammad Kaif, assistant coach of the Delhi Capitals, felt that the players wouldn't have lost their touch and a practice session or two would get them back into the groove.

The cricketers taking part in the IPL in the UAE are coming off a lockdown and could be rusty but Kaif, who featured in that epic Natwest Trophy final against England in 2002, said that skills are permanent.

"It is going to be very exhausting mentally and physically, both. Mentally, more right now because we all are in the room, we aren't able to go out and four to five months of lockdown back home in India," Kaif said during a virtual press conference on Friday.

"So, people have not done much. But players are such that they don't lose their skills so quickly. It will come back very quickly and it is a matter of spending one week at training. And it is also about getting used to the conditions and the heat. We all have gone through that and sportsmen, because they have done that throughout their career, they will come back faster," he added.

And Kaif also felt that playing the tournament in the UAE will work in the players' favour as it will help them recover soon enough.

"It is hot and humid but once the tournament starts, it won't be that tiring because we are not travelling a lot. When you play in India, every second day if you are playing a match, you have to pack your bags and travel to the airport, waiting at the airport and then hotel. So, the whole tournament is very exhausting. But this might not happen here in the UAE because we are just staying in one room and one hotel and grounds are not very far. Players can recover faster," felt Kaif.

A brilliant fielder during his heydays, Kaif also reckoned that for all the batting and bowling firepower that the teams have, the fielding would be the clincher.

"I feel the best fielding side probably will have a better chance to win the IPL this year in the UAE. Since they haven't done much over the past five months, it might affect the quality and standard of fielding. It won't be the same, at least in the initial matches," said the 39-year-old.

Kaif also said that Shreyas Iyer has matured as a captain after his stint with the Indian team and added that the current squad makes them strong contenders.

"I'm very impressed with Shreyas Iyer, the way he has taken the responsibility. Being a young captain, last year he did so well. And this year is going to be even better because having played for India now, he will bring that confidence into the squad as a captain. He's a very nice character and brings calmness as a captain. And I feel he will be an even better captain this year. Also, we have a good squad this year compared to last year. Shreyas Iyer will have a lot of options to choose from," he said.

james@khaleejtimes.com

 


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