The former Indian Hockey captain Viren Rasquinha was not entirely amused with the fitness levels of some of the players on show in the first game of IPL 2020 between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians.
Saurabh Tiwary and Piyush Chawla were the two players who were particularly targeted by the fans for not working enough on their body in the lockdown period. Both the players seemed to have gained significant amount of weight and didn’t move well across the turf at all last night.
IPL 2020 got underway last night in Abu Dhabi
Tiwary and Chawla, however, performed really well with bat and ball for their respective teams. While Tiwary was the highest run-scorer for Mumbai with 42 off 31 balls, Chawla went at a rate of less than 6 per over for CSK.
But, it’s their fielding which was under the microscope because of their fitness levels. While Chawla couldn’t stop a boundary which had to be stopped at the square third man position, Tiwary also seemed to be struggling to get to the ball as quickly as he should have on numerous occasions.
Rasquinha, who had an illustrious career with the Indian Hockey Team from 1999 to 2008, didn’t single out any particular player and didn’t take any names, but he insisted that it was hard to imagine any other sport where the players could turn up with fitness levels like that and would still be able to play at the highest level.
I have never played more than gully cricket but I am pretty shocked to see some players in the #IPL2020 looking so unfit. I can’t think of another physical sport where players at the highest level could cope with these fitness levels.
— Viren Rasquinha (@virenrasquinha) September 19, 2020
While IPL is technically considered a domestic T20 league, the fact is that it’s the biggest tournament in the world and the standard of cricket in the tournament has always been very high. So, the players are definitely supposed to work enough on their fitness ahead of a tournament like this.
Everyone was in the middle of the pandemic, but even if these players had basic work-out sessions at home, their fitness levels would probably not have degraded to the extent it has.