Indian Premier League 2020: Chennai Super Kings batting coach Mike Hussey expected players to be more rusty


Dubai: Chennai Super Kings ( CSK) batting coach Mike Hussey said that he expected his side’s players to be rustier and was pleasantly surprised at their good shape ahead of the upcoming IPL 2020.

Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the game saw a long hiatus and several cricketers will only return to cricket in the forthcoming 13th edition of the IPL. While players from England, Australia and West Indies have witnessed some cricket, the rest of the players will be returning to the fold after almost 6 months away from the game.

But Hussey, the former Australian batsman, heaped praise on his players as they trained well during the break and returned in good physical shape which has helped them to quickly get into the groove with less than 10 days to go for the CSK’s opening match.

“I have been really impressed with the guys, the way they have approached their training has been great, all the guys are very keen and I must admit that I expected all the guys to be a bit more rusty than they are,” Hussey said in a pitch-side interview, posted on the official Twitter account of CSK.

The three-time winners, CSK, had a tumultuous start to their preparations as some of their players and staff returned positive results for coronavirus. As a result, CSK could only start their training from Friday (September 4). If that was not enough, senior players of the team like Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh opted out of the tournament for personal reasons. 

“Bit of a dodgy start, we had to quarantine ourselves for a bit extra, we are on the right track now, we have our negative COVID results, boys are now training hard and are looking forward to the IPL. They are getting rid of all the rustiness and they are looking in good form.”

Hussey, who is nicknamed Mr Cricket, also spoke about the challenges of following the various health protocols which have been laid in order to tackle the novel coronavirus. He emphasised the mental preparation required for such a scenario.

 “We have stuck to the rules, we have got a good bubble around us, if we stick to the rules then we should be fine. I think it is going to be tough for every player and support staff. It is something we have not experienced before. We have experienced players in our lineup and they understand their game. We need to mentally deal with things. I think the mental side of the game would be really important. Dealing with isolation and being stuck in a hotel will be really challenging.”

Hussey was a prominent player of CSK’s title-winning sides in 2010 and 2011. In a total of 59 IPL matches, Hussey scored 1977 runs at a phenomenal average of 38.76 and a strike-rate of 122.64.

The 13th edition of the tournament was earlier scheduled to begin from March but had to be postponed due to the unprecedented outbreak of COVID-19. It has now been shifted to the UAE amidst the rising number of COVID-19 infections across India.

The much-awaited tournament is set to take place between September 19 and November 10 across three venues in the UAE- Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

Chennai Super Kings will take on Mumbai Indians in the tournament opener on September 19, in what will be a repeat of last year’s final.

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