Lack of match practice will be a concern for players in IPL 2020: KXIP fielding coach Jonty Rhodes

Lack of match practice will be a concern for players in IPL 2020: KXIP fielding coach Jonty Rhodes

Rhodes, who is marking come back in the IPL after a two-year halt, is heading the fielding department of Kings XI Punjab.

Jonty Rhodes
Jonty Rhodes. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League is all set to knock doors on September 19, and players have been gearing up in the final leg of their practice sessions. It has been no less than challenging to pick form and fitness while touching the field after five long months, but the efforts are on and on. In the same light, the former South African fielding stunner Jonty Rhodes is emphasizing the need to have a match mindset to excel in the mega event.

Rhodes, who is marking come back in the IPL after a two-year halt, is heading the fielding department of Kings XI Punjab. He said that the skills of players are not a big concern but ‘match mindset’ is. The former cricketer feels that need for practice games before the IPL is actually the need of the hour. The 51-year-old is of the opinion that lending emotional support to players is of prime importance right now as many of them will be delivering without having their friends and family around.

“I think from a skills point of view, batting wise, all the boys have their skills back, they are playing ramp shots in the nets and playing shots all around the ground, which is interesting because they could not practice much during the lockdown,” Rhodes said as quoted by Hindustan Times.

You tend to pick up skills quickly: Jonty Rhodes

“You tend to pick up the skills quickly, but it is the match practice or the lack of it that will take a while to get used to. Playing in the nets is one thing, if you can get the match mindset, especially in a tournament like the IPL, it is very important,” he asserted.

Former Proteas cricketer said that KXIP is also keen on having some warm-up matches before moving on to the gala event. Apart from CSK, all the franchises have almost completed their one-week session in the nets after undergoing mandatory quarantine.

“We are trying to arrange one or two practice games just because of this reason (for match mindset). The skills have come back quickly. The balls are just flying out of the ground, and it is good to see the bowlers hitting the right areas,” he went on to add.