IPL: AB de Villiers talks about his first training session
South African star AB de Villiers returned to training after a five-month hiatus ahead of the impending Indian Premier League season in UAE. In a video posted on RCB's official account, AB opened up on his first training session, stating he followed the basics throughout. Notably, strength and conditioning coach Shanker Basu highlighted the challenges faced by players in the scorching heat of UAE.
"It was very good, enjoyable, the wicket was a bit sticky so it was a great challenge, actually if I could have it my way, I would have wanted my first net session to go like this only after a long time," said AB.
AB, who hit the nets after a long time, also donned the keeping gloves during the session. The session was also attended by the likes of Umesh Yadav, Parthiv Patel, and Gurkeerat Singh. "I kept my basics in place, watched the ball carefully, I played some nice shots in the end and it was enjoyable," added the Proteas star.
After having retired from international cricket in 2018, AB de Villiers returned to professional cricket, this season, with the 3TC Solidarity Cup. He was all guns blazing, emerging as the second-highest run-scorer (66) of the match after Aiden Markram. Post his international retirement, he has been participating in global T20 leagues. In the 2019 IPL, he amassed 442 runs from 13 matches at 44.20.
RCB's strength coach Shanker Basu believes the squad needs to extra cautious in order to evade the heat of the UAE. "It is our job to pull them back a little. There is oppressive heat and that can be a telling thing. We need to find the right balance in the gym," he said. "From now onwards, it should just aid the skill part."
In RCB's first training session, skipper Virat Kohli returned to nets along with South African legend Dale Steyn and team director Mike Hesson. The spin trio of Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar and Shahbaz Nadeem, as well as a few pacers also trained along with Kohli.
Kohli and AB share an extraordinary bond both on and off the field. In the IPL, the duo is the nucleus of Royal Challengers Bangalore's batting line-up. Notably, they hold the record of the highest partnership for any wicket in the IPL (229 vs GL, 2016). Now, the two stars will aim to secure a maiden IPL title for RCB this season.