Sunrisers Hyderabad head coach Trevor Bayliss wants warm-up games ahead of the September 19 start of the Indian Premier League in the United Arab Emirates.
“Certainly, we would like to have as many warm-up matches as possible to get the boys back to the match-playing conditions,” Bayliss told Sportstar from Dubai on Wednesday.
“Batting and bowling in the nets is a lot different to batting or bowling in the middle. Most teams will have a couple of inter-squad matches, so everything will be fair for everyone. We would like to play more matches. But it is what is, so we will get on with it…,” said Bayliss, who guided England to its first-ever World Cup title last year.
Under usual circumstances, all teams play simulation matches within the group. But the story is different this time around. Most of the players haven’t had a taste of competitive cricket since March due to COVID-19. And that’s why the franchises have requested the Board of Control for Cricket in India for letting the teams play warm-up games.
Bayliss believes that a clearer picture will be available by next week.
In the times of new normal, the teams are inside a strict bio-bubble and Bayliss said that it is important to ensure the players are mentally fit. “This is something new for all of us. We may not get everything exactly right in this bubble and (with) the new way of doing things. It’s about learning on the go and one of the main thing is that it is a long tournament, but we are here for a month before hand…”
“It will be a long time, it’s just as much about being in form and physically fit, it will be also important to keep the boys mentally fit. That means not necessarily practising everyday. It will be a case of having a rest period as well, to keep the boys nice and fresh,” the seasoned coach said.
Before taking charge of the England team, Bayliss had helped Kolkata Knight Riders clinch two IPL titles in 2012 and 2014.
“I was lucky to have had two wins with KKR. They (KKR) and Sunrisers are very similar with the fact that both are very family-oriented teams. The experience has been great; I learned a lot as well and thoroughly enjoyed my time there. Obviously, this is a new time and I hope I have the same success with SRH,” said the 57-year-old.
Trevor Bayliss (right) with former KKR captain Gautam Gambhir. – FILE PHOTO/PTI
While the Hyderabad outfit is captained by Australian David Warner, it also has New Zealand superstar Kane Williamson in its ranks. Bayliss doesn’t want to tweak things too much.
“Sunrisers have done well over the last four-five years, so they must have been doing a lot (of things) right and leading into the tournament this year, I don’t think we have to change a real lot, but it will be about using the experience of (VVS) Laxman, (Muttiah) Murali and Brad Haddin, who is the assistant coach,” he said.
“We need to make the most of the experience that we have got in the team. People like Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Warner and Williamson have a lot of experience in international cricket and it’s about using those experiences and passing them on to the younger players in the squad…” the seasoned coach stated.