The Cricket Times

KL Rahul on his fear during enforced hiatus from the game –

In recent years, Indian cricket stars have been subjected to arduous schedules with minimal breathing space in between two successive series.

Indian captain Virat Kohli, during numerous press conferences, has touched upon the busy schedules of cricketers, with key actions throughout the calendar year.

With the amount of travelling, the load on players increases multi-folds. However, with the onset of global coronavirus pandemic, players could breathe a sigh of relief with the imposed hiatus from the game.

The last time Indian cricketers stepped onto the field in a competitive match was back in February this year, during the New Zealand tour.

Since then, players have observed their quarantine period, amidst lockdown imposed in various parts of the country. The Indian cricketing stars are so used to doing the hard yards, day in and out, that the enforced hiatus made them itch to go out and resume their trade.

IPL 2020 will finally see the Indian stars back in a competitive environment, after a break of seven to eight months.

Moreover, India’s white-ball specialist KL Rahul had a different take on the enforced break from the game. The newly-appointed Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) captain has opened up about his fear of losing his touch, due to the prolonged sabbatical from the game.

I did get anxious sitting at home. My fear was that I would get lazy, so I trained at home during the day. I made a plan for a day and tried to stick to it. But initially, I didn’t bother as I felt I deserved to be lazy and that I can wake up at whatever time I want to. Even if I didn’t train, it was acceptable for me because my body needed that break after years. Later on, though, I told myself I needed to plan my day, be it doing household work or getting up at a particular time. Most days, I stuck to my plan. I didn’t want to waste my time watching TV. I cooked, walked my dog and designed clothes for my brand,” Rahul told Indian Express.

‘Had nightmares thinking, what if I become slower?’: Rahul

Once or twice I did have sleepless nights thinking what if once I get back to playing cricket, I am not the same player. That was a bit scary, but luckily in Bengaluru, we got a few practice sessions, and that made me feel good. A couple of nights, I had nightmares. I woke up with the feeling, ‘Oh s**t, what if I can’t pick the line and length of the ball? What if I become slower? What if I don’t have the same cover drive as before?’ All these question marks were there. And the first session didn’t help: all those fears came true. I batted so badly in that session it was scary. But after three sessions, I started to feel better, and it made me happy,” Rahul concluded.

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