IPL 2021: Game and glory go on under the dark shadow of pandemic

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Glimpses of action on and off the pitch and what is happening in the dressing rooms

Amid growing concerns about the viability of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL), doctor Yash Gulati opined that the players are safe inside the bio bubble and if a cricketer gets injured he would be treated in a COVID-19 free facility. “Players and support staff are living in a bubble. They do not come in touch with anybody else including their family members, that’s my understanding. The hotel staff where the players and support staff are staying are quarantined and they are not allowed to go out of the hotel. Also, when the players travel in a plane for other cities even pilots of planes are being tested,” said Gulati, who is one of the two Chief Medical Coordinator providing Medical Cover to IPL in Delhi.

“They don’t have a chance to contract this infection because they are being tested repeatedly untold. This is to prevent infection from reaching them. If somebody comes out of that so-called say security net, then that person will be tested again and again till it is ensured that they are Covid free. So if some cricketer is injured, we will treat him in the covid free facility, he will be isolated and all the Covid protocols will have to be followed until he is tested negative,” he added.

In light of the severe COVID situation in the country, the Indian Premier League (IPL) has enforced stricter restrictions in the bio-secure bubble. “Those inside the bubble cannot move outside the bubble and if they come out of the bubble in case of any injury, they have to be isolated in other places for the safety of players and supporting staff,” he said.

Gulati who is an overall medical manager/coordinator along with Abhijit Salvi of BCCI said that a team of 12 doctors of various hospitals of the national capital is providing medical cover to IPL teams in Delhi. This medical team has three orthopedics, two intensivists, two eye surgeons, two casualty officers, two dental surgeons with two fully equipped ambulances in the Arun Jaitley Stadium.

Talent alone doesn’t take you far: Morgan

After suffering a seven-wicket loss against Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League (IPL), Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) skipper Eoin Morgan said that his side has a talented bunch of individuals, but only talent cannot bring win for his side.

Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan starred with the bat as Delhi Capitals defeated KKR by seven wickets here at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Thursday. Shaw and Dhawan played knocks of 82 and 46 respectively as Delhi Capitals registered a win with 21 balls to spare. With this win, Delhi moved to the second spot in the points table with 10 points. “Very disappointed. We were slow off the blocks with the bat, lost wickets in the middle period and Russell got us to 150-plus. Then got slow off the blocks with the ball. Shaw played brilliantly, nothing much we could do. Also shows how good the surface was. We were not good enough with all departments. He (Cummins) is part of our new ball plans,” Morgan told host broadcaster Star Sports.

“Mavi bowled four on the trot last game and bowled well. Just did not go to plan today. You need to be honest and realistic with everyone in the dressing room. We have to be as honest as we can with each other. Hopefully, we can turn things around. There is a huge amount of talent in our squad but talent alone does not get you far. It is about execution,” he added.

Shaw can do wonders, says Pant

After registering a comprehensive seven-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL), Delhi Capitals skipper Rishabh Pant said that right-handed batsman Prithvi Shaw is a very talented player and he can do wonders if the side shows confidence in his abilities.

Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan starred with the bat as Delhi Capitals defeated KKR by seven wickets here at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Thursday. Shaw and Dhawan played knocks of 82 and 46 respectively as Delhi Capitals registered a win with 21 balls to spare. With this win, Delhi moved to the second spot in the points table with 10 points. “Prithvi Shaw is a talented player, we all know that. But if you give him the confidence he can do wonders. Was only telling him to play the normal game. In this kind of match, we can afford to think of a run rate. The only thing we talk about with youngsters is to just enjoy cricket, do your best,” Pant told host broadcaster Star Sports at the post-match presentation.

“Lalit is an allrounder. Hasn’t got a chance to bat but he’ll learn. In the last match, we only lost by one run, so as a team we talk about we don’t have to change anything. Definitely enjoying captaincy,” he added.

We had to step up our batting: de Kock

After registering a seven-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League (IPL), Mumbai Indians wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock said that his side was aware that they need to step up their game in order to win more matches.

Quinton de Kock and Krunal Pandya starred with the bat as Mumbai Indians (MI) registered a comprehensive seven-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals (RR) here at the Arun Jaitley Stadium on Thursday. De Kock and Krunal played knocks of 70 and 39 respectively to give Mumbai a much-needed win this season. “Obviously, it was a little bit easier to bat out here, but we still had to get the job done. It was quite pleasant and we are just happy to win the match,” said de Kock while replying to an ANI query during a virtual press conference.

“We spoke about it, as a batting unit we know we have to step it up now. We know it is important for our batting lineup to start scoring big runs and start helping out our bowlers, so glad we got over the line,” he added.

“I think just genuinely with our team, we are trying one of tour four batters to stay till the end, but yeah, we did that today, honestly, moving from Chennai to Delhi has helped a bit so I am sure there will be a lot more fireworks for our guys to come,” said de Kock.

When asked about the COVID-19 situation in the country, de Kock replied: “To be honest, we trust our doctors so we are pretty safe in our bio-bubble, we feel safe. It has been easy, we take precautions wherever we go so I have felt quite safe, it has been easy to get on with the game.”

Jadeja is close to his peak: Fleming

Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming lavished praise on all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who forms the “core of the middle order” for the side in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.

Jadeja had whacked 37 runs in the final over of CSK’s innings and then came back to pick three wickets as MS Dhoni-led side thrashed RCB by 69 runs. The all-rounder smashed 62 runs in just 28 balls, with the help of five 6s and four 4s, as CSK scored 191 in their allotted 20 overs on Sunday. “We don’t have a leadership group. He (Jadeja) is a key member of our side and he is without doubt close to the peak of his powers, that last game we all saw, I don’t think we can ask for much more. He is working very hard, doubts were around his lack of cricket coming into the tournament.”

“He trained very hard, and he is one top player in the world in any format and we are lucky to have him right now in his prime. He forms the core of the middle order and allows a lot of options within the team,” said Fleming while replying to a query from ANI.

Meanwhile, CSK returned to the top of the table after registering a comfortable victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Wednesday.

A late onslaught from Kane Williamson (26*) and fifties from Manish Pandey (61) and Warner guided SRH to 171/3 in their allotted 20 overs. In reply, Ruturaj Gaikwad’s blistering 75-run knock and a fifty from Faf du Plessis (56) helped CSK to chase the target with nine balls to spare.

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