While one might think that given Virat Kohli's single-minded dedication towards cricket would make him the most eager to get back in action for the first time since the global pandemic broke out, it turns out the Team India and Royal Challengers Bangalore captain wasn't quite chomping at the bit to return to the crease.
During a Royal Challengers' Bold Diaries series, Kohli said, "When we had our practice session yesterday, is the time I realised how long it's been...Honestly, I didn't miss the game as much as I thought I might. Maybe because I was going for nine-ten years before that and this was the only break I was ever going to get. And that long.
The skipper says the extended time off opened up his perspective on life outside cricket, "But it was a revelation for me. My focus was not solely on how I'm missing the game all the time and just carrying on with life and doing other things."
Among those other things, certainly, the biggest news was the recent announcement of he and wife Anushka Sharma expecting their first child together.
"The best thing was Anushka and I was at home. We never got so much time to spend together, since we started seeing each other. This was the longest we got to spend with each other," he said.
"Just being home, being in your own home with the one you love - you couldn't ask for anything better. We just made the most of that whole time. Created a bit of a routine for ourselves."
Kohli and the rest of the RCB squad are presently in Dubai as training commenced on Friday (August 25) following a mandatory six-day quarantine after touching down in the UAE, and he has made it clear what their agenda is.
"We're here to play. We're not here to have fun and roam around and say I want to hang out in Dubai. That is not the time we're living in. So we have to accept the phase that we're going through and understand the privilege just to be a part of the IPL.
"Everyone should accept that and not have desires that make them behave in a manner that is not required."
The 13th edition of the IPL will be played within a 51-day window, getting underway on September 19 and will conclude on November 10, with Dubai International Stadium, Sheikh Zayed Stadium (Abu Dhabi) and the Sharjah Cricket Stadium jotted down as three venues.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Manjunath Kiran