India skipper Virat Kohli has admitted he did not miss cricket as much as he expected during the prolonged period of absence from the game caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Kohli, who captains Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League, has finally returned to the nets in the UAE with the tournament set to commence on September 19.
Kohli last played a competitive game during India's tour of New Zealand earlier this year but was contented to get some time away from the sport given his extensive workload.
"When I had our practice session yesterday, it is [when] I realised how long it has been," Kohli said in an interview with RCB's YouTube channel.
"When I was heading towards the practice session, I felt nervous, bit jittery, but I was OK. Honestly, I didn't miss the game as much as I thought I might.
"Maybe because I'd been going on for nine, 10 years before that and this was the only break I was ever going to get [which was] that long."
Kohli felt the comfort of home made the long wait bearable for him as it allowed him the chance to spend more time with his wife Anushka Sharma.
"The best thing was Anushka and myself were at home. We never got so much to spend together since we started seeing each other [in 2013]," Kohli said.
"Just being in your own home with the one you love, you couldn't ask for anything better. We just made the most of the whole time."
The upcoming IPL season will be held without spectators in accordance with the safety precautions in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
While the unusual setting may dampen the typically lively atmosphere witnessed in IPL matches, Kohli dismissed fears regarding a lack of intent and declared confidence in his players' ability to adapt to the unprecedented situation.
"It is going to be strange, it is going to be new. Just the echo of [the] ball hitting the bat, I haven't experienced that since Ranji Trophy [India's domestic first-class competition] cricket back in 2010," the 31-year-old said.
"We are... on the field doing what we do best. So I think the instincts will kick in and the crowd factor will diminish quite quickly once we get into the action."