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 all-rounder 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.
The fast-medium bowler and lower-order explosive 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.
For Morris, all the freelance overseas players like Liam Livingstone, and Evin Lewis to name a few, will add a lot of intensity to the game.
“The guys who are there are playing leagues and scoring quite a lot of runs and making massive impact around the world,” he said.
Morris also said that the Royals’ bowling unit has quality to restrict the opposition.
“The bowling unit is going to be under pressure as it’s the bowlers who win you matches, we know we have quality to restrict teams and at business end, we will come out all guns blazing,” he added.