Less than a week to go for Match 1 of the Dream11 IPL and we cannot contain our excitement just like the 8 franchises. Rajasthan Royals upped their game by launching their official jersey with a skydive, other teams got cracking with their mandatory photoshoots, while some of them put their squad to the test with some match-scenario drills.
Find out all about it in our 3rd edition of IPL Diaries.
Kolkata Knight Riders:
So near, yet so far
How do you meet your mates social distancing style? Ask Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma who hopped on to speak to KKR assistant coach Abhishek Nayar and Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav.
KKR also revealed their new wheels for the season. How’s that for colour and art?
51 runs – 4 overs
And talk about putting yourself under the pump, setting yourself a challenge, the men in purple and gold put themselves in a Death-over challenge. Did the batsmen chase it or did the bowlers win it? Find out yourself.
Dr. Dre-Russ in the house
KKR’s prized possession, Andre Russell finally landed in UAE to join his squad. Bowlers beware – Russell Muscle has landed! P.S – a certain Sunil Narine has joined the bandwagon too.
Onboard the Kane Train
If KKR was excited to have their trump card back in the squad, the Sunrisers Hyderabad were equally pumped to watch their Mr. Cool Kane Williamson middling them at the nets. “It is good to be back,” quipped Kane.
Rashid in da House
And look who else is back in Orange and ready to spin a web. Batsmen beware!
Practice makes perfect
The Sunrisers rounded off their week with a high intensity practice game with Team Manish going head to head with Team Bhuvi. Any guesses who won?
Kieron Pollard checks in
Kieron Pollard, the most experienced Mumbai Indians player with 148 caps has arrived. The defending champions will be boosted by his presence as he been with the team through thick and thin. He arrives fresh from the CPL where he led TKR to the title and is high on confidence. He was also joined by Sherfane Rutherford, who too arrived with his family.
Jayant Yadav talks of life inside the bubble
Mumbai Indians’ off spinner Jayant Yadav spoke on the life inside the bio bubble and getting acclimatized to the new normal. He added that having a camp in Mumbai helped them know the protocols better.
NCN Is back!
Nathan Coulter-Nile, the Australian pacer – bought for a whopping INR 8 crore – is relishing the opportunity to be back with Mumbai Indians. He was with MI in 2013 and played one game in the season in which MI won their first-ever IPL trophy. He termed their bowling attack as world-class and said his first goal will be to break into the XI. With Malinga opting out, NCN will be required to fill in the big boots and he added that pitches in the UAE will suit his bowling.
Kings XI Punjab:
Right inside the team room
Kings XI Punjab’s Mayank Agarwal and Harpreet Brar gave their fans a tour of that team room, a beehive of activities and strategies. From workout stations to arcade games and a corner to discuss and brainstorm, the KXIP’s giant team room has something for everyone. Take a look!
A second leg spinner in KXIP’s coaching staff?
Everyone knows that KXIP has a legend in Anil Kumble as their director of cricket operations. The former great, a picture of focus and intensity, has been rolling his arm around in the nets but we were quite surprised to see another leg spinner emerge from the coaching team. It was batting coach Wasim Jaffer who tried his hand and we were very impressed with the turn he got!
Chennai Super Kings:
Mitchell Santner and Imran Tahir check in in Dubai
The Chennai Super Kings have been training hard in their nets session ahead of the season opener against defending champions and four times champions – Mumbai Indians.
While elated Deepak Chahar after completing his quarantine joined the CSK training camp, the yellow brigade was seen simulating a match-day.
Timing ! Bat speed ! Swing !
M Vijay describes MS Dhoni’s monstrous six at the practice game best.
Royal Challengers Bangalore:
Getting into the mood for #Dream11IPL. 8 days to go till RCB will take on the Sunrisers Hyderabad in Dubai.
There’s intensity. There’s effort. More importantly, there’s hunger as well. The Royal Challengers are beating the heat in Dubai and putting in some extra hours.
There’s intensity. There’s effort. More importantly, there’s hunger as well. The Royal Challengers are beating the heat in Dubai and putting in some extra hours. pic.twitter.com/uDg74o72Qd
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) September 11, 2020
Hear it from the Skipper himself, as he talks about the team’s progress after two weeks of training in the UAE.
More intense, more hungry than ever before, and more balanced, Virat Kohli speaks about his progress after two weeks of practice in the UAE ahead of Dream 11 IPL 2020. pic.twitter.com/l2ovA1IgGf
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) September 12, 2020
The jersey-drop and lusty blows
If you ever decide to drop something, drop it like Rajasthan Royals. The Men in Pink had a rather breathtaking jersey launch (jersey drop, to be precise). Do not believe us? Just watch it for yourself.
While RR will be keenly waiting for the arrival of their big guns – Steve Smith, Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes – the Indian and foreign mix present in the United Arab Emirates also seemed in a top shape, hitting some lusty blows during the next practice.
The Imitation Game
The two RR youngsters – Kartik Tyagi and Anuj Rawat – meanwhile, put up a show – with one imitating Brett Lee and the other flying sideways to hold on to a stunner.
Rabada’s different avatars
The imitation game also found some takers in the Delhi Capitals camp as Kagiso Rabada pulled off a brilliant impersonation of Shikhar Dhawan, including that famous ‘thigh-five’, as the cameras went clicking during the team photoshoot.
While he was all fun and games during the photoshoot, Rabada put his game-face on. Intense, fiercely focused and raring to go. Mess up with him at your own peril, batsmen.
In the Delhi Capitals camp, amidst all the practice and hardwork, the things turned “upside down”, courtesy skipper Shreyas Iyer and Prithvi Shaw.
Pant ain’t keeping them down
As the team looked to fine-tune their skills during an intra-team match, Rishabh Pant was in no mood to keep things confined to the boundary ropes. Let’s allow this clip to do the talking:
Two images to sum up Delhi’s Capital gains
Seven quality pacers, three fine spinners. We will just leave it at that.