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Aware of the looming COVID threat, veteran Indian batsman Shikhar Dhawan has confidently remarked that he has 'full faith' in his body to defeat Coronavirus if he gets infected during the IPL 2020. The Delhi Capitals' star expressed that he was never 'apprehensive' about playing the cash-rich tournament. So far, 15 members connected to the IPL 2020 have contracted the infection with the latest case being reported from the Delhi franchise itself.
“I have full faith in my body, was never apprehensive about playing. I know I can still get the disease but I can fight it,” the Delhi southpaw said on Monday.
However, Dhawan also apprised that the players are following the safety guidelines and have undergone the COVID test almost 8-9 times. He also commended BCCI for managing to organise the tournament amid the pandemic. “We have to keep wearing a specific badge, our movements are restricted. It’s a huge thing that the BCCI is able to organise the tournament in this situation,” the opening batsman said.
Exuding confidence in laying hands on the silverware this year, the Delhi batsman expressed confidence in the 'balanced side'. The Shreyas Iyer-led side has acquired the services of veterans Ravi Ashwin and Ajinkya Rahane for the upcoming season to add some experienced firepower to their relatively younger squad. Adding that squad has a good lot of spinners to reap benefits of the turning pitches in UAE, Dhawan said, "We have Ashwin, Sandeep, Amit Mishra and Axar (Patel). We bat deep and their experience is a huge advantage for us, but the whole team has to play well to win the tournament."
Defending champions Mumbai Indians will face MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings in the opening clash of the tournament on September 19 in Abu Dhabi. Compared to the regular 8 pm IST start, the games will start half an hour earlier in the upcoming edition. The afternoon matches are set to begin at 3:30 PM IST while the evening games will commence at 7:30 PM IST. Here is the full schedule of IPL 2020.
After the tournament opener on Saturday, Dubai will host its first game on Sunday when Delhi Capitals take on Kings XI Punjab followed by the third match on Monday between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore. In all, 24 matches will be held in Dubai, 20 in Abu Dhabi and 12 in Sharjah, while the venues for playoffs will be announced later.
Shreyas Iyer, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra, Avesh Khan, Sandeep Lamichhane, Kagiso Rabada, Keemo Paul, Mohit Sharma, Lalit Yadav, Axar Patel, Harshal Patel, R Ashwin, Marcus Stoinis, Rishabh Pant, Alex Carey, Shimron Hetmyer, Tushar Deshpande, Andrich Nortje.
(With PTI inputs)
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