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Indian skipper Virat Kohli said that he didn’t miss cricket as much as he planned during the month-long break caused by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Kohli, who is also captain of the Indian Premier League side Royal Challengers Bangalore, recently began training in the United Arab Emirates to start the glitzy Twenty20 tournament on Sept 19.
“When I had our practice session yesterday, it is [when] I realised how long it has been,” Kohli said during an interview posted on RCB’s YouTube channel on Tuesday. “When I was heading towards the practice session, I felt nervous, bit jittery, but I was OK. Honestly, I didn’t miss the game as much as I thought I might.
“Maybe because I’d been going on for nine, 10 years before that and this was the only break I was ever going to get (which was) that long.” Kohli and his wife Anushka Sharma, a Bollywood star, recently announced they were expecting their first child in January.
“The best thing was Anushka and myself were at home. We never got so much to spend together since we started seeing each other [in 2013],” Kohli said. “Just being in your own home with the one you love; you couldn’t ask for anything better. We just made the most of the whole time.”
Kohli, one of the world’s best batsmen in all game formats, will live in a bio-bubble during the 53-day tournament with his Bangalore team-mates.
It is expected that the game would be played behind closed doors and Kohli said it will be an unusual setting.
“It is going to be strange; it is going to be new. Just the echo of (the) ball hitting the bat, I haven’t experienced that since Ranji Trophy cricket back in 2010,” the 31-year-old said, referring to India’s domestic first-class championship.
But Kohli seemed optimistic the players would quickly adjust to the situation.
“We are… on the field doing what we do best,” he said. “So I think the instincts will kick in and the crowd factor will diminish quite quickly once we get into the action.”