Dubai: After registering an emphatic 59-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Delhi Capitals’ spinner Ravichandran Ashwin hailed the bench strength of the side, saying that it is good enough to form another Indian Premier League (IPL) team.
Before the match against RCB, Delhi Capitals was given a big blow as spinner Amit Mishra was ruled out of the tournament due to a finger injury. In place of Mishra, Axar Patel was given a chance against the Virat Kohli-led side, and the spinner returned with the figures of 2-18 from his four overs.
“That’s one of the beauty of this particular Delhi side, even when my shoulder dislocated, Amit came in and played the role, now he is injured so Axar has come in and played the role. There is enough strength on our bench and sometimes when it comes to the IPL, the people coming out of that bench become very important, that bench is probably good enough to be another IPL team, it has got a lot of quality, I think Amit will be dearly missed, moving forward we will try to keep him happy at home,” Ashwin said during the post-match press conference.
Talking about the performance of Patel, Ashwin said: “Sometimes we tend to blow-up images and stats in T20 cricket, sometimes I feel it is a bit over-rated in a game like T20 because it is somewhat like football where people are playing their roles and one such person is Axar, he always goes under the radar, he builds the pressure up for someone else to capitalise and take the wicket. These are the heroes that are appreciated inside the dressing room for us at Delhi Capitals and Ricky Ponting is very particular about that. When you get appreciated, people want to stick to their roles.”
RCB failed to chase down 196 runs and was restricted to 137/9. No batsmen got going for RCB and only Kohli got among the runs as he played a knock of 43. AB de Villiers had an off day with the bat in hand as he just managed to score nine runs. He was sent back to the pavilion by Anrich Nortje. For Delhi, Kagiso Rabada was the pick of the bowlers as he returned with the figures of 4-24.
Delhi has gone to the top of the table with four victories and eight points from five matches.
Ashwin conceded just 26 runs from his four overs and he also got the crucial wicket of Devdutt Padikkal.
“I think we have got a good side, everyone is putting their hand up, I thought we were a bit rusty initially getting into the tournament, even for me, it has taken me five games to get through the full quota of four overs, it has been quite an interesting year. I bowled four overs for the first time in this year’s IPL, the biggest positive is that there is still a lot of room for improvement so I think we will get there at the backend of the tournament,” Ashwin said.
Delhi Capitals registered a total of 196/4 as Prithvi Shaw and Marcus Stoinis played knocks of 42 and 53 respectively. Stoinis had come to the crease with Delhi at 90/3 in the 12th over and it was then that the Australian all-rounder went on to play a knock of 53 from just 26 balls with the help of six fours and two sixes.
“Prithvi is a phenomenal talent, I don’t think we need to talk about the technique of batsmen here, sometimes I feel that the technique of batsmen is over-rated. Everybody has got a unique technique, Prithvi is a special talent, when he hits the ball, it makes a lovely sound out of his bat. He has been hitting the ball beautifully in the last couple of games,” Ashwin said.
“Marcus Stoinis has become really strong, he has been playing IPL for different teams across the past few seasons, obviously he has improved over the last couple of years and finally, a really excellent Stoinis has reached Delhi Capitals. He has been phenomenal, he has been good in the two games we have played at Dubai, so I look forward to keeping my fingers crossed for him,” he added.