Known to set the bar extremely high with his dedication and hard work, Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli is happy with the fitness level of his team members, saying “everyone is looking in great shape” ahead of the Indian Premier League beginning on September 19. RCB’s will open their campaign in the lucrative T20 league against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on September 21.

Back into the thick of things after five months of coronavirus-forced break, Kohli focussed hard on his fitness routine during the lockdown. The 31-year-old kept sharing his workout videos and training routine with his fans on his social media handles. Kohli, a fitness freak, also said that he himself felt good from the first training session after landing in the UAE.

“From fitness point of view everyone is looking great, everyone is in good shape. It’s a matter of feeling good and I think I felt good from the first session onwards,” Kohli said in a video posted on RCB’s twitter handle.

“Obviously, there are few things that you try and rectify along the way and once you reach your optimum mindset and you enter the competition you just want to stay in that as much as possible.”

The India captain said the team management’s focus during the two-week training period in the UAE was a balanced approach to avoid injuries to players.

“We don’t want to push anyone into a niggle or an injury because we understand it’s been a while away from the game. So I think we moved ahead in a balanced manner.

“We don’t want to be a maniac like doing 6 sessions in six days. We gave ample off time to the boys which we will continue to do along the course of these next few training sessions also,” Kohli said.

Kohli said after the long break, the need of the hour was to start slowly and increase the intensity of training sessions gradually, which the RCB has now managed to attain.

“First few days we are just getting our eye in, getting back in thick of things after 5 months, it’s a bit different, try and get into the frame of mind which you usually want to be. It takes a bit of time, in these sessions now we are mostly batting in the middle, trying to figure out hitting angles, understanding the pace of the wicket and all these.

“I am very very happy with how the team is shaping up,” said the talismanic batsman.

“Few shoulders were sore initially because we threw after months, suddenly you realize a few muscles were asleep. But I think the guys are now getting back into the intensity level we want,” the skipper added.

The IPL will be played across three UAE venues this season — Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.

The 13th edition of IPL has been moved out of India due to the COVID-19 pandemic.