Kolkata: The biggest challenge for Delhi Capitals camp - after a demoralising defeat in the first Qualifier against Chennai Super Kings on Sunday - will be regroup themselves quickly and give their best in their second chance on Wednesday.
For the third season in a row, the re-branded Delhi franchise had been at their consistent best to qualify for the play-offs - and the onus is now on them to show that they are not quite the chokers and can do one better in the UAE. The job will not be easy as they will have to take on either of two of the fast-improving teams in Kolkata Knight Riders or Royal Challengers Bangalore, but Delhi’s young opener Prithvi Shaw feels they will be ready for it.
“At the moment, we have to back each other. The entire team takes the responsibility for our performance, whether we win or lose,’’ said Shaw, who turned a new leaf as a batsman this year and scored a dazzling 60 off 34 deliveries against Chennai on Sunday.
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‘‘We’ll try and come back stronger in the next match. It’s a tough loss to digest for the team. However, we have one more match through which we can qualify for the final and I believe in each and everyone in the team. They are all great players - talent and skill-wise. I really believe that we can do something special in the next match and go through to the Final.”
Asked about MS Dhoni’s blistering innings of 18 runs from six balls in the death overs which saw Chennai overhaul a challenging target of 173, Shaw told Delhi Capitals media: “MS Dhoni is something different, everyone knows that. We have seen him finish games so many times and it’s nothing new for him or for us to see him do that. He’s definitely a dangerous player whenever he bats. I feel very lucky to be in this atmosphere and get a chance to watch him as a batsman and a leader. He took the game away from us.”
In hindsight, Shaw felt that he should have batted for a longer time, “I am happy with my knock, but I feel I should have played a longer innings. This is a lesson for me. When I am in the same situation again, I’ll try to bat for a longer time.”
Delhi will take on the winner of the Eliminator match between RCB and KKR in Qualifier 2 for a place in the IPL 2021 Final at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah on Wednesday.