Kings XI Punjab batsman Mayank Agarwal was neither apprehensive about getting back to the nets nor he is “cribbing” about the strict bio-bubble guidelines in place for the IPL, saying getting to play amid the pandemic “beats everything”.
His IPL captain KL Rahul and India skipper Virat Kohli have spoken about the apprehensions they had about getting back in the nets after a five-month break, probably the longest in their careers, but it was not the case with India’s Test opener.
“There were no apprehensions as such. I just did not put high expectations on myself when I went into practice. It was just more about trying to get back to where I left off. I did not look to judge myself in the first three four net sessions,” Agarwal told PTI from Dubai.
The 29-year-old from Bangalore said head coach Anil Kumble has been slowly building up the intensity of the sessions.
“Physically, yes, I am (back to his best) but skill-wise it would take a few more sessions. It is just about getting your batting rhythm back and things fill start flowing again. It is pretty hot in here also so trying to get accustomed to the climate by training in peak hours,” said Agarwal.
Upon arrival in the UAE, all KXIP players went into a six-day quarantine and after returning three negative tests last week, they were allowed to enter the tournament’s bio-bubble and start training.
The players and officials, who can’t invite anyone in their room for the entire duration of IPL and have to wear a bluetooth band so that their movements could be tracked, face strict action for breaching the bio-secure protocol.
All teams have taken steps to address mental health issues that may crop up over the course of the tournament.