Kolkata: For Delhi Capitals, there could well be a feeling of deja vu as they brace up for the first qualifier against Chennai Super Kings for a shot at a final berth of IPL 2021 in UAE on Sunday.
It’s almost an almost idential scenario like the 2020 edition in the UAE where Delhi Capitals finished in the top two, then got wallopped by an in-form Mumbai Indians in the qualifier but then again earned a final against the same opponents after prevailing in the second qualifier. Capitals floundered in the final again - but this time, they want to go the distance.
However, with Rohit Sharma’s men out of the tournament, Rishabh Pant’s team has a decent chance of capping their consistent efforts over the last three seasons into a title this year.
The Delhi camp is buoyed by the news that Marcus Stoinis, their Australian allrounder and troubleshooter, could be back for the crucial game. Stoinis limped off the field with a hamstring strain while bowling his second over in Delhi’s first match of the resumed IPL in the United Arab Emirates.
Speaking about the last league stage match on Friday, which went down to the wire before Capitals lost to Royal Challengers Bangalore, head coach Ricky Ponting said that this loss will give the team a chance to reflect and how they can improve ahead of the qualifier match against Chennai Super Kings.
“It was a disappointing way for the game to end, and for us to lose the way we did, but I am not unhappy about it at all. I actually think, it’s a really good thing because it will give the boys a chance to reflect and think about how we can improve for Sunday’s game, and it’s a short turnaround, so you have to forget about things and start focusing on the next game,” said Ponting.
Speaking about their qualifier against MS Dhoni’s men - against whom Delhi had won both their league games, Ponting said: “I think we should be very confident. We have beaten them twice in the league games, but as you know, the play-off games are completely different, and our tournament really starts now.
“It starts when our players get their recovery done from tonight’s (Friday) game, and then we make sure we get ourselves in the right mindset to take on Chennai. They are also a very good side, they have been level pegging with us right throughout the tournament, who’s gonna finish first and who’s gonna second. So, we totally respect them as a playing group, and them as a franchise,” he concluded.