The COVID-forced four-month break between the first and second phase of the Indian Premier League is sure to affect the “match readiness” of some players and they might just “struggle” to shake the rustiness off, feels Rajasthan Royals’ South African allrounder Chris Morris. While most of the foreign players were freelancing in leagues and also playing international cricket, the Indian domestic players haven’t had any game time after the IPL stopped in the first week of May due to COVID-19 cases inside the bio-bubble.
“Match readiness is going to be an issue just like last time when IPL was played in Dubai. People will take a couple of games to get rustiness out of their way,” Morris, one of the mainstays in this Royals line-up, said when asked about challenges of having the IPL in two halves.
“Fortunately, overseas players have been playing some cricket. I have done pre-season at home, trying to lose weight. Match fitness is always the best type of fitness. We have had two warm-up games now and we have spent time on our feet,” Morris said.
Morris, a medium-fast bowler and a lower-order big-hitter, feels that simulations can never match the intensity of real games. “You can never simulate match intensity and I think a few guys will struggle to get that rustiness off. That’s the nature of the beast of COVID at the moment,” he said.
“Some guys will have to shake off their rustiness and I think that’s part and parcel of the game. You have to find out a way to get out and make it work,” he added.