Life outside the bio-bubble brings welcome relief to players | Cricket

At the first press conference in India before the T20I series against South Africa, a sense of normalcy was immediately apparent when Rahul Dravid stepped into the hall at Feroz Shah Kotla. After nearly two years of bio-bubbles, where online interaction with players and coaches has become the norm, India’s head coach is only a few meters away from the press, ready to open up his plans for the series and the upcoming T20 World. Cup in Australia.

“It’s nice not having a laptop screen in front of you when talking,” Dravid once settled, raising a wide smile from the room.

Just minutes before, Rishabh Pant drove with his team-mate Ishaan Kishan to practice in his swanky, Regal blue Mercedes. The 24-year-old in Delhi traveled to the stadium in the comfort of his home rather than staying in the team hotel because of the bio-bubble forced. On the Nets, some casual observers had a close-knit punch with Pant, which made the local boy more entertaining.

Pant visited the sonnet club, where he learned the nuances of the game under the late Tarak Sinha – and the next day, he met coach Devendra Sharma and the young coach at his old academy. According to Sharma, it was Pant’s first visit to the club in two years due to bio-bubble constraints.

None of this has been possible since Indian players returned to action in the IPL in September 2020 after the first few months of the Kovid epidemic. Since then, the schedule has never been more forgiving, and the complexities of playing and living in the bio-bubble have definitely taken a toll on many players. The only exception to this period was probably the Test series in England last year, where the restrictions were somewhat loosened to give players more room.

“In the last 24 months, he has been at home for 25 days. “I don’t care who you are. If your name is Bradman, if you are in a bubble, your average will decrease because you are human,” Ravisastri, the former head coach of India, said at the end. Reign in November 2021.

Although Kovid did not disappear completely – South Africa’s batter Aiden Markram conducted a positive test early in the series and served as a cautionary note – the India-SA series is moving smoothly with no biological bubbles. Players. For each of the five venues in the series, a fair number of fans came to watch the training sessions on the eve of the match.

“There are a lot of fans in this country. A lot of people are joining you. This is just the first series (without the bio-bubble). Everyone is taking time to get accustomed. We are accustomed to being in a closed environment with no one around you. There was a gap from the people. Early Ruturaj Gayakwad told reporters that a lot of fans are coming back to us and asking for pictures and stuff.

Of course the situation is no different for players from other teams. South African pacer Anrich Nortje is simply relieved that the players have regained their freedom of movement.

“The only solution is to be free and move around and not be in one room or in one room. Things were going on as usual. We feel like we have more freedom. As a Grade 1 student, every minute of the day does not tell you what to do. It’s really nice to have that (freedom again), ”Nortje said.

According to Gaikwad, the upside under biological bubbles was that a more conscious effort was made to bond as a team.

“It was obviously tough to be in the bubble for a long period of time, but the good thing is that whatever team I play for, the team’s rapport is high. There was a lot of team activity and it will remain for years to come,” Gaikwad said.

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