Virat Kohli plays a shot in nets during a practice session in Dubai.
Mohammad Abdullah, Staff Reporter
Pursuant to his earlier call to follow the safety protocols, Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) skipper reiterated on Tuesday that everybody should respect the bio-secure bubble.
In the wake of a huge spike in the coronavirus cases, the 13th edition of the IPL has been shifted to the UAE. The players will play in a bio-secure bubble throughout the tournament.
Players and all the supporting staff have to follow a strict guideline to keep the bubble secure and safe so the tournament can be held successfully.
At the same time, Kohli also ruled out that following the safety protocols should put any kind of pressure on the youngsters in the team.
“I understand, you might have not had clarity about many things initially, I also did not have clarity when I was coming up the ranks.
“I don’t think it should add to any extra pressure on any one. To be honest, if someone had guided me when I was coming up the ranks I would have loved it. If I had a clear message and vision in front of me, I would have said ‘boss this what I am going to follow,’” said the Indian skipper on RCB’s You tube programme Bold Diaries posted by the team on their official Twitter account.
“In this situation, what I said on the Zoom call during our first meeting, I don’t think it should bother any nay one or put them under any kind of pressure, because the magnitude of the situation is such,” he added.
“We are all here eventually to play cricket and to take care of the tournament, take care of the our surroundings that we are in and the bio-bubble needs to be respected all the time for the tournament to happen,” he stressed.
“We are here because we have the opportunity to play. We are not here to have fun and roam around, say ‘oh I am going to hang out in Dubai.’ That is not the time we are living in. We have to accept the fact what we are going through and understand the privilege that we have in front of us, which is just to be a part of IPL,” added the right-handed batsman.
“Everyone should accept that and not have desires to behave in a manner, which the situation does not require them to,” said the swashbuckling batsman.
Commenting on the life during the lockdown in India, he said: “A couple of month you could have not even imagined IPL would be there at all then things started opening and getting together. Other tournaments started taking place.
“We got a bit of confidence and now when we had training session last day, I realized how long it has been. When I was heading towards nets, I was feeling nervous and jittery,” revealed Kohli.
“The best thing was that Anushka and I were at home and we never got to spend so much time together. This was the longest that we got to spend together. Just being home, just being in your with someone you love, you could not ask for anything better,” informed Kohli, who just broke the news that the power couple is expecting their first child after the lockdown.
“It was just a phase of life and you have to take it like that. We were at peace and it was lovely time, quality time. It was tough initially then we got used to it eventually,” added Kohli.
He was full of adulation for the support staff, who are playing main role in the challenge of keeping the players for both mentally and physically.
“Both Mike Hesson, Simon Katich and other support staff, who have joined in recently, they all seem pretty-balanced and clear in what they want.
“At the same time they are very respectful of the fact that they need to manage people in certain way. Setting a clear and forthright culture in front of them that, you have to do it and we will help but the culture will not change because of the individual preferences.
“For the foundation of any successful team, a culture of excellence, which forces and pushes you to be the best version of you every day is a must,” said Kohli, who has 43 ODI hundreds under his belt.
Meanwhile, RCB have called up Australian leg-spinner Adam Zampa as a replacement for Kane Richardson, who pulled out of the IPL, citing the birth of his first child, who is due any time sooner-or-later during the same period as that IPL schedule.
“We are disappointed to not have Kane’s skills with us this IPL, as he was certainly on top of his game. However, once we found out Kane and Nyki’s baby was due during the IPL, it’s an exciting time, and we were fully supportive of Kane wanting to be at the birth of their first child,” RCB team director Mike Hesson said.
Zampa’s inclusion has further bolstered RCB’s spin department as the franchise already has the likes of Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Moeen Ali and Pawan Negi in the squad.
“When looking at our squad for UAE conditions, we felt it was an opportunity to bring in another quality leg-spinner in Adam Zampa to provide cover for Chahal and also give us extra options if conditions suit spin as expected during the tournament,” Hesson added.
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