Prithvi Shaw during one of the training sessions (Source: Delhi Capitals/Twitter)

He says it took him a couple of days to get used to the heaviness of the bat and playing with a helmet again after (lockdown) months of inaction. In a chat with The Indian Express, before he left for the UAE, the Delhi Capitals opener Prithvi Shaw opens up on the difficulties he faced when he resumed training and looks at the challenges of staying in the bio bubble. Excerpts

Did you face any issues when you returned to batting after all these months?

I held my bat properly after four months and suddenly I found my bat was a bit heavy. I wasnโ€™t middling the ball as I wanted to. It took me two days to adjust to the helmet and the pads. During the lockdown, it was raining and I was generally practising with a rubber ball. The lack of competitive games does make it tough but itโ€™s not just me who will face it. For many players, IPL will be the first competitive game in five months. The weather will be hot in UAE as well. I am looking forward to the practice session. The body is fresh, I feel those few days of practice sessions before the tournament will be the key.

How did you see bio-bubble during IPL?

Thankfully, I. donโ€™t play PubG! I will be playing playstation games. Also, I will be doing a lot of shadow practice in my room to keep myself busy. It (staying in the room for hours) will be tough and a new thing. It will be challenging for everyone. Many players like someone to talk to especially once they had a bad day. Cricket is happening and that is important. Though itโ€™s a Delhi team but four players are from Mumbai, so I can discuss with them whatโ€™s on my mind.

How did you spend the five months in lockdown?

I was alone and sometimes it was boring. I thought this (virus) will be for one month but as it went on increasing the frustration levels also increased. I did my training. I also cooked according to my diet plan as outside food wasnโ€™t available. That was challenging. I went to Alibagh, it was a quiet place. There was nothing to do, the schedule did change.

Did you use the time to reflect?

Personally it helped me grow mentally. We saw people struggling, there were job losses, many didnโ€™t have money. I thanked god that at least we were not facing their struggle. It puts things in perspective.

What are your hopes from this IPL?

We have a good team, we have experienced players. We want to win this time. We have to handle the pressure; we have a good chance.

Do you have any special MS Dhoni moment that you cherish?

I asked him once about how he finishes games. He explained it nicely. He has the mindset to take it to the last ball. He knows his strength, he knows that if a team needs even 20 runs of last over, he can finish the game. His mind is strong.

How is Shreyas Iyer as a captain?

As a captain he is confident with his players. He backs them. Even if we are in a situation of losing, he keeps on motivating. He will be there by your side when you need him and is also open with ideas.

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