Fit again Coulter-Nile eyes impact for Mumbai
An unfortunate injury on his first day in quarantine was not the start to the IPL Nathan Coulter-Nile was after. Now fully recovered, he's ready to make his presence felt on the field
29 April 2021, 02:55 PM AEST
Australian seamer Nathan Coulter-Nile is ready to make an impact at this year's Indian Premier League after recovering from an injury in quarantine that has kept him out of action for the early part of the season.
The Mumbai Indians are the IPL's defending champions but have had an indifferent start to the tournament's 14th season, winning just two of their first five games ahead of tonight's clash with the Rajasthan Royals in Delhi (8pm AEST, Kayo and Fox Cricket).
Coulter-Nile is in contention for his first start of the season having overcome an unfortunate calf injury suffered in his hotel room on his first day in quarantine.
"I said to myself I'll be good in this quarantine, sort my mind and body out and be good to go, so I started skipping," Coulter-Nile told cricket.com.au this week.
"I got about three skips in and just popped my calf on my right leg.
"That sort of sent me into a downward spiral the first day."
Unable to train, quarantine was that extra bit harder for Coulter-Nile, who spoke candidly about the emotional toll of being a cricketer playing away from home with a young family.
"That's the hardest part, leaving my youngest daughter," the 33-year-old said.
"Last August when I left (for the 2020 IPL season) she was one-and-a-half. When I got back she didn't want a bar of me. Honestly, it's so hard.
"To leave again shortly after to go into the BBL bubble, then leave again to go to (the current) IPL, there's definitely a toll that it takes on me personally but more importantly on my family.
"Now she's just turned two, so she's still little but she understands a bit more about FaceTime and stuff like that, whereas last time I was away, she didn't understand it, didn't want a bar of it.
"She's a good little girl, she knows me, she loves me, and we'll build a strong relationship when I get home."
Now fully-fit, Coulter-Nile is hoping to again make an impact on field for the Mumbai franchise who have moved to Delhi, the epicentre of the nation's coronavirus outbreak, for the second phase of the IPL's travelling roadshow.
Coulter-Nile and all the Australians who've opted to stay on at the IPL are acutely aware of the humanitarian disaster unfolding outside the safety and security of their luxury bubble.
It's a privileged position, and one they are well remunerated for, but that does not make them immune to news from the outside world.
"When you're in a bubble like this, it's already a bit of a mentally fragile place anyway. So any sort of news you get like the Australian government shutting borders and blocking flights really hits," he said.
"It does hurt, it does make you wonder and stress a bit. But you've got to put your faith in the management over here with Mumbai, and we know the ACA and CA are working on it."
A key member of Australia's 2019 ODI World Cup squad and the leading wicket taker in the 2019-20 Marsh One-Day Cup competition with Western Australia, Coulter-Nile has since become a T20 specialist.
He played seven matches for the Mumbai Indians last season on their way to the IPL title, but the summer just gone was the first since 2009-10 that Coulter-Nile hadn't been tied to a state system in Australian domestic cricket after he was unceremoniously dumped from Western Australia's contract list last June.
He still featured in the KFC BBL, playing six games for the Melbourne Stars, and after this IPL season hopes to return to Australia in time for close friend Adam Zampa's wedding before travelling to the UK for the inaugural season of The Hundred, where he will play for the Trent Rockets.