‘Players won’t take time to get back into form’

When he is not spinning the ball in the middle of a cricket ground he is hitting the ball at a golf course! When he is not doing either, he is in the commentary box for India’s major cricket fixtures. Former India player and now commentator, Murali Kartik thinks that Virat Kohli will not let this lockdown affect his natural game. Here is an excerpt from a chat he had with The Daily Guardian.

Q: Thanks for this chat Murali! How has the lockdown been for you? It is a surreal feeling for everyone. How have you been coping with it?

A: I have no complaints about the lockdown. In fact, I am liking this period. I have finally been able to read and watch some stuff on TV that I never got the time for before. I have been completely indoors all this while and I was able to clear a lot of clutter in my house. I have also been helping out with the jhadu and poncha from time to time. I do miss playing golf though and of course commentary as well. What hit me hard in this lockdown period is that there are bigger problems in the world that need to be taken care of.

Q: How do you think India has performed in this fight? If you look at countries such as the United States and parts of Europe, they are in dire straits.

A: I cannot describe all the efforts after 60-70 days of lockdown being put in by the corona warriors. It is amazing what they have done. India has done a great job, all corona warriors are doing selfless service and are doing a selfless job. We must respect and treat the corona warriors as one of our own. We cannot discriminate against them. It is wrong. I think India is doing great and we should continue down this path.

Q: Do you think sports can resume anytime in the near future and if yes then under what conditions?

A: I am not sure, but I hope that soon that can be possible. It is really tough to envisage any kind of sports in this atmosphere. We first of all have to look at social distancing and saving lives. Once that is done we can resume sports as many people miss watching their favourite game. We also have to keep logistical issues in mind. Players, media, backroom staff, everyone needs to be taken care of. Resuming sports will have logistical issues and it’ll be tough till the time we don’t find a solution for this disease. But once these issues are sorted then I am positive that sports can be brought back with a bang.

Q: Do you think this will be a frustrating experience for athletes? They can exercise but not play their game out in the park? Will rustiness become an issue?

A: It is important to understand a simple rule. As an athlete you need to control the controllable when you can’t go out and play. Players will be out of form because they have not played for so long. The challenge right now is combating the virus and many players won’t take much time to get back into form. So let us not worry about that. Virat Kohli will be back in his super form in no time. The mind has to be trained during these lockdown days and this is something which will help the players when they come back into the game. We have to resume the game with caution and we need to ensure that this virus is behind us when we start any competitive sport.

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