As IPL 2020 kicked off, the world is now witnessing a change that was previously unseen. With the post-COVID norms reigning supreme, everyone is getting acclimatized to the new normal.
However as India like other major nations underwent a severe lockdown for six months, a lot of things have changed. Drawing a reference to the IPL, major players are still to get fit to their optimum levels. With catches getting dropped, misfields becoming abundant, they want for fitness is screaming itself to the top.
One may cite examples of unfit players pulling off brilliant catches, effortlessly producing some great saves, and at times have been exquisite with their expressive stroke play, but this is a tournament altogether.
A solitary catch won’t win you a fray, an isolated batting masterclass won’t help you sway the war and a couple of good saves once in a blue moon won’t be the burning testimony to your fitness.
How exactly does fitness matter? It is simple. You may probably be a gem of a cricketer but if you are not at your optimum level of fitness, you tend to get tired earlier than you should be.
That weariness starts detracting a significant amount of workload that you put in. For one dive when you are tired, you need to conjure a lot of mental strength. Summoning all the mental power and then aligning it with your physical bursts of excellence is a one-off edition.
Hence, in order to maximize the level of inputs from a cricketer, the coaches should start working on their fitness.
We will look at five cricketers who will need to work a lot on their fitness to get in their usual grooves in IPL 2020.
Rohit Sharma‘s fitness is one of the biggest talking points of IPL 2020.
He exuded some excellent batting the other night as he swept off the Kolkata Knight Riders from their feet. However, that wasn’t really the best of the Indian vice-captain.
Once he reached the 65-runs mark, he was struggling with the bat and he hobbled a couple of times while trying to go for that extra run in his second match of IPL 2020.
When Mavi got the better of him that was a half-hearted swing of his blade and was picked up by Pat Cummins in the deep. Taking into consideration that this was IPL and a twenty over the game the figures look apparently decent but imagine this being another tournament and a longer version of the sport.
Things would have not just gone downhill but he probably would have been termed as a villain. Going by the preceding standards set by Sharma, he has blasted scores of 200 plus in ODI games which saw him elapsing a lot more time in the middle.
Seemingly the stature of Rohit has got fatter than it used to be and it is playing as a top-notch hindrance in him being the commander of the game that he loves to play. If he is not working out on that extra fat, the future may not be kind to him.
When Kolkata chose Nikhil Naik for their opener, it was still unclear as to why exactly was this man picked. He picked up a decent catch of Quinton De Kock. However, that was his solitary contribution to the game.
He couldn’t move in time to cut short those singles. He was extremely sloppy when it came to fielding on the ground. His sluggishness in the deep cost them quite a few runs as he was jogging most of the time.
While he came out to bat, he was never comfortable and by the time he did manage to get his arms free, he was headed to the pavilion.
Going by the stature of Naik, he is too stately and definitely not someone whom you could expect to impact the fortunes of the game.
If you are bringing a specialized batsman in the squad, he can’t be unfit in the field. McCullum will have to give it a good deal of contemplation before he is picked up for the second game in IPL 2020.
He didn’t gain weight for sure, however, he has turned extremely laggardly in the field in IPL 2020. He is fortunate to have Dinesh Kartik as his captain, if it would have been Dhoni or Kohli, he would have been dreaming about the stars.
In KKR’s game against Mumbai Indians, there were a couple of occasions where he was extremely hesitant to dive and the ball rolled away to the fences in both the cases.
One of the likeliest reasons why players choose not to go down to the ground is a lack of fitness and agility. Karthik will have to do his homework on the field to ensure that such spillages are duly taken care of.
It is extremely weird that his name is coming in this list, considering the fact that he is one of the best athletes in the world at the moment.
However, the opening game of KKR told a different story altogether. In an instance of stopping the ball going to the boundary, he was literally dragging himself to the ropes, and just before it crossed the ropes, he managed to place a foot on the ball and stop it.
The technique which was used by Russell to stop the ball was extremely dangerous and could have caused a severe injury that may have deprived KKR of their primary weapon. Ideally, these kinds of saves are done as a last resort when the fielders cannot reach any further.
However, the fielding from Russell happened in the first place because he was unable to run at the fastest speed to save the ball and by the time he reached it, it was too late.
Even when he came out to bat, he could hardly get himself comfortable, looking extremely restless throughout the process. Maybe he needs to understand that swinging the bat isn’t really the key to being an immortal in the batting roster of IPL.
If we would have gone by that story, Sunil Narine would have been the best batsman of the fray.
Though he is a million miles away from his prime, his current shape is an insinuation of the fact that this IPL is probably his last. Spanning from the game against Mumbai Indians to Rajasthan Royals, he was extremely sloppy on the field and could barely manage to keep himself up straight. T
hough improved himself in the game against the Royals, yet those runs in the deep could have been well-timed and a few more dives should have been put in when he was in a close call with the cherry slipping away to the fences.
Dhoni must have already laid down the caveat for Vijay stating that if he is not working harder on the field, it won’t take them long to get him removed.