Just like the eliminator against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the same venue, Delhi's top-order collapsed and all the pressure was once again on the young shoulders of Rishabh Pant
Delhi Capitals' spirited campaign came to an end when Chennai Super Kings (CSK) defeated them in the second qualifier of the 12th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL). It was once again not a very high-scoring game as most of the batsmen, from both sides, struggled to get going, especially against the spinners, on the slow and turning pitch in Visakhapatnam.
Chennai captain MS Dhoni won the toss and invited Delhi Capitals to bat. It turned out to be a good decision as Delhi lost three wickets for just 57 runs in 8.5 overs. It was a wicket that needed someone from the top three or four to hold one end together and rotate the strike. But no one from Delhi's top-four showed patience to negotiate the tough phase and bat through.
Just like the eliminator against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the same venue, Delhi's top-order collapsed and all the pressure was once again on the young shoulders of Rishabh Pant. The only difference was Prithvi Shaw's attacking fifty in the eliminator.
Pant played a good innings of 38 runs off 25 balls, but couldn't provide the finish everybody was expecting from him. However, thanks to his innings and some cameos from Amit Mishra, Trent Boult, and Ishant Sharma, Delhi Capitals managed to put 147 runs on the board.
What mistakes did Delhi commit that had their dreams of reaching the IPL final for the first time shattered? Let's take a look.
1. Delhi Capitals didn't analyse their eliminator against SRH closely
It was clear after the eliminator between Delhi and Hyderabad that Visakhapatnam is not an easy venue to score runs on, especially if there are quality spinners in the opposition. Delhi's top-four batsmen, without getting used to the pace of the pitch, played too many extravagant strokes and ended up throwing their wickets away. After losing three early wickets, captain Shreyas Iyer should have looked to bat through the innings, but he went for a front foot hoick over square leg and top-edged the ball straight into the hands of Suresh Raina, who was standing at backward point.
It was a very irresponsible and rash effort by Delhi's top-order.
In reply, Chennai Super Kings got off to a great start as Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson tore into Delhi's attack and added 81 runs for the first wicket in 10.2 overs. It was all very easy for Chennai from there on and they registered a comfortable victory to march towards the big final.
2. Not using Amit Mishra against Shane Watson in the first five overs
Iyer gave an extended spell to Ishant, who did well, but Mishra would have been a much more attacking option. Mishra has a very good record against Watson as he has dismissed the Australian in three out of the past four innings. Interestingly, Mishra took Watson's wicket, but it was too late by then.
While defending a below-par total, it is very important to attack with your main bowlers early on in the innings. Sometimes captains have to be aggressive and resist the temptation of waiting and using their best bets for later stages of the innings.
Last Updated 1:18 PM IST