Following the cancellation of the fifth Test between India and England in Manchester, a few players have arrived in the UAE for the second phase of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 earlier than expected.
While India and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) captain Virat Kohli says that is unfortunate to have arrived early, he hopes that the bubble is strong enough and the tournament can go on smoothly. "Unfortunate that we had to end up here early, but with COVID in place, things are very uncertain," Kohli told the RCB's digital media platforms.
"Anything can happen at any time. Hopefully, we're able to maintain a good, strong, and secure environment, and have a quality IPL."
"It's going to be an exciting phase and a very important one for us at RCB and then for the Indian team at the T20 World Cup," the Indian captain said.
RCB have quite a few new recruits for the second half of the tournament, including Sri Lanka all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga and Singapore batsman Tim David. The RCB skipper issays he is looking forward to linking up with all of them.
"I've been in touch with everyone. We've had discussions over the last month or so, a little longer than that with the replacements, who's coming and who's not. Eventually, we ended up replacing our key players with some top-quality cricketers," the RCB skipper said.
He believes that replacement players will fit into the system perfectly. "Our key players will be missed, and they are a part of the family, but the people coming in as well have great skill sets, especially for these conditions.
"So, I'm very excited to see them, with the whole group at practice and certainly very excited to resume a very good season that started last time around," he said.
RCB resume their IPL 2021 campaign on Monday (September 20) against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Abu Dhabi.
(With inputs from PTI)