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IPL great preparation for the World Cup: Gary Kirsten

BENGALURU: As global cricketers switch their national jerseys for franchise colours with the 12th edition of the Indian Premier League getting underneath manner on March 23, the next seven-odd weeks will probably be about slam-bang cricket. That stated, it is going to be laborious to get away from the fact that workload would be the watchword with the World Cup across the corner.

At the end of the Australia collection just lately, India skipper Virat Kohli had spoken about workload balance all the way through the IPL. On Saturday, at the Royal Challengers Bangalore app launch, town franchise skipper once more wired on the balance. "Each player will take this tournament as an opportunity to go to the World Cup in a good frame of mind," he stated.

But the skipper of a side which is searching for the elusive IPL silverware additionally stated they'd be no let-up in the quest for excellence. "What we've spoken about this year is to lay down a culture, which is the most important thing for any team. One thing that remains an essence for any team is striving for excellence and being committed to what you want to achieve. That takes commitment on a daily basis. That is something I'm looking forward to this season. We will require absolute professionalism from all our players. We'll give responsibility to the players to handle themselves on the field, off the field, and take good decisions."

Former India pacer and current RCB trainer Ashish Nehra, wired on the fact that there is no higher preparation than sport time. "I am a firm believer that the more you play, the better you get. If a player is saying that 'I'm feeling fatigued and I need a break for two games', then so be it. I got injured in World Cup semifinal and after that I didn't play IPL. This debate country or club first will always be there."

Underlining players' responsibility against their franchises and the merits of enjoying IPL forward of the World Cup, the 39-year-old identified, "If somebody tells Virat Kohli not to play IPL and go fresh for the World Cup, I don't think it's right. The more you play the better you get. If he's (Kohli) only practising, that different. IPL is a pressure tournament and as good as international cricket, that's why everybody wants to play. So, you are going to the World Cup after going through that pressure."

The other RCB trainer Gary Kirsten stated the group management expects the most efficient from the players. "We are not looking at this tournament as preparation for the World Cup. This is IPL and we want to get the players to consider this as a standalone tournament. We do understand international players apart from the Indians are called back to their internationals teams during the IPL. We have to accept (that). There's not much we can do. But we would certainly want to get the best out of every player," the South African stated.

Asked if it used to be fair on the franchise if players prioritized World Cup, Kirsten, who coached the India group to the 2011 World Cup, conceded, "It's tough for us. We're representing RCB here. When the tournament ends, that's it for us."

But the previous Proteas batsman went on to add, "We've both (Nehra and Kirsten) played international cricket, we understand the demands of a player. We'll be reasonable in that space. Ultimately every player needs to know that his priority over the next 50-odd days is RCB. Ashish has made a good point: if you get yourself match-ready during the IPL, that's going to hold you in good stead during the World Cup. I think it's an advantage to the Indian players, actually because IPL is a pressure tournament, it's great preparation for the World Cup."

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