DUBAI: Indian captain Virat Kohli admitted he was ‘pretty scared’ to hit the nets for the first time in five months but said his first training session ahead of the upcoming IPL went ‘better than expected’.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore captain resumed training after a five-month coronavirus-forced hiatus. The net session was also attended by South African pace legend Dale Steyn and RCB team director Mike Hesson.
“(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,” Kohli was quoted as saying by the franchise’s website.
Bold Diaries: First Practice SessionWatch how the first net session in over 5 months went for most of our players… https://t.co/0oNcUZKDso
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The 31-year-old, who was RCB’s highest run-getter in IPL last year, said staying fit during the lockdown helped him to react better during the net session even though he was training after a long break.
“I’ve trained quite a bit during the lockdown, so I’m feeling quite fit and that helps. Because the body is light and you react better, I feel like I have more time on the ball. That’s a big plus,” he said.
“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 arrived in Dubai last week ahead of the 13th IPL which is scheduled to begin on September 19 in the UAE. The cash-rich T20 event was moved out of India due to the rising COVID-19 cases in the country.
The team hit the nets on Saturday after successfully ending their quarantine period.
Besides Kohli, spin trio of Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar and Shahbaz Nadeem and a few pacers also trained and Kohli was pleased with the way they went about their business in the first session.
“The spinners looked pretty good for day one, they pitched the ball in consistent areas for long enough,” said Kohli, whose last assignment was the two-match Test series against New Zealand in early March.
“Shahbaz was good, Washy (Washington) 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.”
RCB have never won the IPL though they had finished runners-up in 2009 and 2016.
Among other teams, Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals have already had their first net session in Dubai and Abu Dhabi respectively. Delhi Capitals too hit the ground running on Saturday evening.