Kolkata: Delhi Capitals were leading the points table with six wins from eight matches when the IPL 2021 was suspended in India in early May due to Covid-19 cases in some of the teams - though their batting coach Pravin Amre feels it will be like starting a fresh season for them in the UAE. The second phase of the season gets underway in Dubai from September 19.
“We have to look at the remainder of the season as a fresh one. There has been a long break after the first half and we will be playing in different conditions and wickets,’’ said Amre, a former India Test batsmen of the Nineties, who had been like a mentor to several Mumbai-based stars like Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer and Prithvi Shaw.
‘‘We are looking to start from scratch and not show any complacency after a brilliant performance in the first half of the tournament. We will look to play with the same intensity that we showed in our first match of the VIVO IPL 2021 against Chennai Super Kings,” said Amre, who had been working with the Indian players of the Delhi franchise along with assistant coach Ajay Ratra (former Indian wicketkeeper) in Delhi.
Thanking the franchise owners for sending the team early for acclimatisation, Amre told the Delhi Capitals: “It’s going to be humid when the season resumes and it is important for the players to get used to the wickets and conditions here in the UAE. Credit to the management for sending us here early, so that we have enough time to prepare well with the conditions on offer,” Amre said after a session at the ICC Academy ground.
Shreyas Iyer, the Capitals captain who missed out on the first half of the season due to a shoulder injury, reached Dubai a week earlier than the rest of the team to work on his game with Amre. “It’s always hard for any cricketer to come back after an injury. Our entire team, especially Delhi Capitals’ strength and conditioning coach Rajinikanth Sivagnanam, Assistant Physio Dhananjay Kaushik and Physio Patrick Farhart worked hard when Shreyas was undergoing rehabilitation. Even the National Cricket Academy played an important role during Shreyas’ recovery period. Getting his shoulder strength back was important for him and he has been hitting the ball as long as anybody in the nets,’’ Amre said.
Rishabh Pant, the Indian wicketkeeper-batsman, led the team in Iyer’s absence in the first half of the league. The Delhi Capitals are set to take on the Sunrisers Hyderabad on September 22 in Dubai.