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Leaner Sibley looking to bat for longer periods after weight loss

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Southampton, July 7 (IANS) England opener Dom Sibley has lost as much as 12kgs during the COVID-19 induced lockdown period and has come back to the team a leaner and fitter version of himself.

Following a four-month long hiatus put forward by coronavirus pandemic, cricket is all-set to resume with England taking on West Indies in a three-Test #raisethebat series starting on Wednesday.

This will be the first time when international cricket will be played with new set of changed rules put forward by International Cricket Council (ICC) looking at the virus threat.

“It was an opportunity for me to improve that side of my game and I’m glad to have been able to stick to it. Because of social distancing we haven’t been able to do stuff like skin folds but on the scales I’ve lost 12kg,” Sibley was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.

“I needed to, to be fair. Over the winter I was probably carrying a bit too much weight.

“I think we all like a little treat after a few runs but it’s great to be a bit more disciplined. It’s been tough, but it’s good to feel the benefits now.

“I’ve always been someone who hasn’t necessarily been the fittest in the squad and I’ve always, whether at Surrey or Warkwickshire, been coasting in that aspect.

“I’ve had taps on the shoulder before and haven’t really done anything about it. I think it was overdue having that wake-up call and a good lesson for me, regardless of whether it leads to runs. I had to put that tough graft in the bank and hopefully it’ll stand me in good stead,” said Sibley who hit a memorable maiden Test century at Cape Town just a couple of months earlier.

Sibley said he is hoping that being fitter will help him bat for long periods of time.

“People have said I look different, which is nice, but in terms of batting I don’t feel any different,” he said.

“I didn’t do anything massively drastic; it was just being consistent and putting in some pretty hard graft.”

On facing the lethal West Indies pace attack, he said: “We’ve had a few batters meetings about their bowlers, as you do normally with every opponent you come up against.

“Obviously a lot of the guys have come up against these bowlers before so it is great to be able to pick their brains and try and get as much information from them and try and implement that into practice.

“They’ve got guys who have played a lot of Test cricket and been successful, they’ve also got guys who are less experienced, so it is going to be a good challenge either way.”



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