South African wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock says he will enjoy the pressure of Mumbai Indians' IPL title defence.
The 27-year old led the run-charts for MI with 529 runs as the team lifted the Indian Premier League trophy in 2019.
He is now back with the franchise to try and defend their crown in the UAE and says he's used to handling pressure.
“There's pressure every season when you come and play the IPL, it's all very competitive when you get out on the field. There's always going to be pressure but it's just a matter of enjoying it as it comes,” he told mumbaiindians.com.
However, he did admit that he'll miss playing in front of a packed Wankhede Stadium after the tournament was moved out of India due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Mumbai's an awesome wicket to play on, especially when the crowd's buzzing and they're cheering us on. But we’ll deal with what we have,” he added.
Getting Used to the UAE Heat
De Kock also shared his thoughts on the conditions in Abu Dhabi as he returned to the field after months without action.
“The heat is quite tough. Conditions are quite taxing, it’s very hot here at the moment, but it’s only my second day, so still getting used to things,” he said.
“It's good to be back out with the guys again, obviously, it's been a long time, so it's good to get back with the rest of the team and looking forward to the rest of the tournament.”
He also said that he has started to find his rhythm with the bat after some much-needed net sessions since he arrived ahead of the 2020 IPL campaign, which begins on September 19.
Playing in the IPL again will be his first action since playing for his country in the ODI series against Australia in March.
“It's good to get back. At my net, I was batting more, I was starting to feel a bit better and starting to find the middle a lot more. Honestly, it's always difficult, your first hit in a very long time. But to get back out and start hitting some more, it can only get better.”