AB de Villiers relished the opportunity to finally hit the ground running in the nets for Royal Challengers Bangalore after a long coronavirus-induced break from the game.
De Villiers, who has captained South Africa in the past, claimed he found it a bit tough to adjust on the "sticky wicket" at the ICC Academy in Dubai but was overall satisfied with the progress he made.
"It was very good, enjoyable to be out there, the wicket was a bit sticky so it was a great challenge, actually, if I could have it my way, I would have wanted my first net session to go like this only after a long time," the champion batsman said in a video posted on the IPL franchise's official Twitter account.
The 36-year-old veteran is one of the key players in the RCB line-up, forming a formidable top-order this season alongside skipper Virat Kohli and Australian opener Aaron Finch.
While de Villiers exited the international arena in 2018 to become a full-time T20 mercenary, there have been murmurs regarding his comeback to the Proteas side with the star player himself hinting at a possible return.
For now, de Villiers' exquisite strokeplay will be in action in the IPL, which begins in the UAE on September 19.
"I kept my basics in place, watched the ball carefully, I played some nice shots in the end and it was enjoyable," he added as he also donned the keeping gloves during the training session.
De Villiers commenced practice only after spending the mandatory six-day quarantine following his arrival in the UAE and clearing three Covid-19 tests.
He was accompanied by Umesh Yadav, Parthiv Patel and Gurkeerat Singh among other squad members, who attended the session.
"There are three things we have to be mindful. One the players are coming after a long time and they will be ready to jump and go gang ho and it is our job to pull them back a little," RCB strength and conditioning coach Shanker Basu said.
"Number two, there is oppressive heat and that can be a telling thing, most importantly we need to find the right balance in the gym. From now onwards, it should just aid the skill part."
In the first warm-up routine, Virat Kohli, Dale Steyn, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar and Shahbaz Nadeem were the main protagonists.
"[It went] much better than expected, to be honest. I was pretty scared. I hadn't picked up a bat for five months, but yeah it came out better than I thought, to be honest," Kohli had said.
Having finished bottom of the table in the previous season, RCB will be chasing their maiden title once IPL 13 starts.