Shikhar Dhawan was batting with a mixture of confidence and calmness in the IPL 2019 clash against Chennai Super Kings at the Feroz Shah Kotla. At times, the left-hander looked at his aggressive best but consumed far too many deliveries as Delhi Capitals tried to reach a big total. At 118/2 in the 15th over, Dhawan along with Rishabh Pant looked in great touch but both fell at crucial times to Dwayne Bravo. Delhi Capitals managed just 29 runs in the last five overs and they reached 147/6. Chennai Super Kings reached the target with two balls to spare to win by six wickets courtesy a blazing knock from Shane Watson who smashed 44 off 26 balls.
Speaking in the post-match press conference, Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting said Dhawan, who took 47 balls for his 51, found the going difficult in these conditions and that he suffered an injury while batting. “Ideally, he should have been quicker. It was not an easy wicket to get going and strike after the end of the power play. We want Shikhar to play a particular role in the team. By his own admissions, he would have wanted to score more quickly. At the 15 over mark, we were 118/2. We had set the platform to get a total of 170+. We struggled to get to 147. I am disappointed with the way how we batted towards the backend of the innings. We batted well at the start. It was difficult for Shikhar to get going. He had hurt his ankle while batting. His usual running between the wickets was hampered. We need to talk as to how we need to bat in these conditions. The wickets right through the season will be similar and we need to play smarter cricket,” Ponting said.
Ponting admitted that the kind of start that Chennai Super Kings got in the powerplay put them on top and he stated that the Delhi Capitals bowlers were a bit too aggressive in the quest for wickets.
“When Chennai Super Kings were chasing the total, they bowled first and they knew the wicket was going to slow down in the middle overs. Tactically, they had to come out all guns blazing in the power play in order to stay in the game and that is what they did. We over-attacked a bit with the ball in the search of quick wickets. We wanted to take wickets in order to stay in contention for a win. When you are slightly off the mark, quality players like Shane Watson will make you pay. It was not the bowling which cost is the game. At the end of the day, we were 20-25 runs short with the bat and that made the difference in the game,” Ponting said.
When asked as to whether the final five overs cost Delhi Capitals, Ponting emphasized that the team did not do both aspects well. “The last five six overs of our batting and the first four-five overs cost us. However, we win together and lose together. Batting looked difficult at the end. If we had not conceded so many runs in the power play stages, Chennai Super Kings would have found the total difficult to chase. The average score at the Kotla is 165. Last year, it was 190,” Ponting said.
Delhi Capitals next take on Kolkata Knight Riders at the Kotla on March 30, with Dinesh Karthik’s side registering a thrilling win against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Eden Gardens on Sunday.