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IPL 2020: Adjusting to UAE heat biggest challenge, says RCB star AB de Villiers

By Pti

Dubai, Sept 16: South African star AB de Villiers believes the biggest challenge for all teams in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) will be adjusting to the prevailing hot and humid conditions in the UAE.

IPL 2020: Royal Challengers Bangalore Schedule: Timetable of matches, India timing, Live telecast, Live Streaming

Most games will be played in the night but the conditions would still be challenging.

"I am not really used to these kinds of conditions to be honest. It's very hot, it reminds me of a Test match we played in July in Chennai once where Viru (Virender Sehwag) scored 300. It was one the hottest weather conditions I have experienced in my life," he said in an interview posted on RCB's twitter handle.

"The humidity is similar to that, even at 10 at night. When I arrived here I checked the weather conditions for a few months and it seems to be getting better. It is definitely going to play a part and you have to make sure you have the energy for the backend of the innings or the last 5 overs of your bowling spell."

De Villiers said he would also miss playing in front of packed crowds in India with the event to be played behind closed doors in UAE due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I think obviously all are used to playing in front of crowds on a big stage, there is certainly an amount of adrenaline that is pumped into you when it gets really loud, especially in Chinnaswamy when the RCB crowd gets going, it's difficult to stop the RCB team. So, well miss that there is no doubt about it.

"But I won't say I am not used to it, I have played a lot of cricket in empty stadiums. I grew up like that. It's only in my international career that I have played in front of crowds," he said.

IPL 2020 Schedule: Timetable of matches, India timing, Live telecast, Live Streaming, Updated squads

The 36-year-old dashing cricketer, regarded as one of the destructive batsman of world cricket, said not just him, every player is just happy to be back on the field after international cricket came to a halt in mid-March because of the pandemic.

De Villiers' first foray into the cricket field amid the pandemic was the inaugural 3TC Solidarity Cup organised by Cricket South Africa in July.

Asked whether there will be a drop in the game's standard with players coming from a long break, he replied: "Not at all. In the 3TC I have faced some of the best bowling in the last 3 to 5 years, the bowlers were landing yorkers, they showed some great skills with pace variations.

"They are very hungry, the desire is there, the motivation. It's not just copy and paste, now the guys are really coming out with rediscovered energy, so I think we are going to see some fireworks."

De Villiers said young Australian wicketkeeper batsman Joshua Philippe is an exciting cricketer and he would love to share his knowledge with the Australian opener in the RCB dressing room.

"I have always enjoyed watching Finch play but now I know him quite well. Another guy I am excited to watch is Joshua, he is a young wicketkeeper from Australia.

"I have watched him play for Sydney Sixers in BBL. He is very exciting to watch, he takes on the new ball, a very talented player with all the shots in the book," he said.

"As a 36-year-old who has played international cricket for ages now, I am looking forward to give back if he wishes what I have learnt over the years."

Virat Kohli-led RCB will open their IPL campaign against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Dubai on September 21.

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Story first published: Wednesday, September 16, 2020, 16:15 [IST]
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