IPL 2020: UAE heat will pose a big challenge for all teams - De Villiers

The RCB star says every player is happy to be back on the field after a long break due to COVID-19.

RCB star AB de Villiers. - K. MURALI KUMAR

AB de Villiers believes the biggest challenge for all teams in the upcoming Indian Premier League will be posed by the prevailing hot and humid conditions in the UAE.

“I am not really used to these kind of conditions to be honest. It’ 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 experience in my life,” De Villiers told Royal Challengers Bangalore.

“The humidity is similar to that, even at 10 at night. When I arrived here I checked the weather conditions of 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 back-end of the innings or last five overs of your bowling spell.”

De Villiers said he will miss playing in front of packed crowds in India.

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“I think obviously all are used to playing in front of crowds in big stage, there is certainly an amount of adrenaline that 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, we’ll 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 crowd,” he said.

De Villiers said every player was happy to be back on the field after a long break due to COVID-19. De Villiers’ first foray into cricket 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 off the best bowling in the last three to five 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 was an exciting cricketer and that he would love share his knowledge with the opener in the RCB dressing room. “I have always enjoyed watching [Aaron] 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 foward to give back if he wishes what I have learnt over the years.”

RCB’s first match in the IPL will be against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Dubai on September 21.

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