Kolkata Knight Riders’ players are adapting quickly to the conditions here in the UAE ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) starting September 19, team assistant coach Abhishek Nayar said on Wednesday.
KKR players have switched to an evening open net session after three days of net-practice at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium training facility here.
“The thought process behind the open-net session was that a lot of our guys were coming back to action after four-five months where they haven’t actually practised a lot of cricket,” Nayar told KKR website www.kkr.in.
“For the first couple of days, we tried to get a lot of quantity, made sure they hit a lot of balls in the nets and spent a lot of time middling the ball,” he said.
“Most of the guys are looking good. This was just the fourth session today. But things are already looking good. Like you said, some of them are middling it well, and the consistency will only get better. But the great part of it is everyone is in a great frame of mind,” Nayar said, when asked how the players shook off their rustiness after coming off a long break.
“In the last four-five months they didn’t get to practise, but they trained really hard. So, everyone is looking really fit and they are moving really well, which kind of helps in the batting and you see the transition happen quite quickly. So, in four days, they have gone really fast in terms of how they progressed. I am pretty sure in another three-four days and a couple of practice games down the line they will all be match-ready.”
On the evening conditions, he said twilight period is difficult to adjust to. “We have a lot of evening games coming up. So, we are keeping that in mind — the fact that the games here will start at 6 o’clock, which is 7.30 pm IST. We will play in that twilight period which is quite difficult in cricket because there is shadow and you sight the ball differently,” he explained.
“So, we are just trying to get used to both conditions — afternoon and evening. There may be a few day games as well. We know the temperature here is pretty high and it goes up to 40-44 degrees. In the evening, there is a good breeze going around. It’s an open ground and the ball moves a bit. So, we are just getting used to the conditions. Especially because everyone has been indoors for so long, spending time in different conditions at different times of the day is important,” he stressed.
“It’s [UAE] a different territory. A lot of guys have never played here. So, for them it’s just to get acclimatised and feel what it’s like playing in different times of the day, what the recovery pattern is, and have a better understanding.”