Delhi Capitals (DC) assistant coach Mohammad Kaif has stated that their openers, Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw, had shown more intensity in the Powerplay, as had been advised by the team management.
He talked about this plan during the post-match press conference after the Delhi Capitals' victory against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in their IPL 2020 encounter yesterday.
On being asked about the discussions in the dressing room before the match, Kaif replied that the team management had asked the Delhi Capitals batsmen to be more aggressive in the Powerplay, considering the small ground and flat pitch in Sharjah.
"Sharjah has been a high-scoring game. So, we had to come back stronger. We had spoken to our batters to show more intensity in the Powerplay. And we got that right from Shikhar and Shaw."
He was particularly appreciative of the way Prithvi Shaw had taken the attack to the opposition to give Delhi Capitals an explosive start.
"Shaw played a fantastic knock, we have seen Shaw how dangerous he can be in the Powerplay. But we had the intent, we spoke about it right from the first ball and we saw that from the batters today."
Mohammad Kaif then said that Delhi Capitals did not have any specific target in mind after being asked to bat first. He lauded Shreyas Iyer for his exhilarating knock after the openers had given the team a bright start.
"There was no target, we had to go hard in the Powerplay and get the momentum to our side. First Shaw and Shikhar started and then Shreyas Iyer played a brilliant knock."
The former Indian middle-order batsman added that it was a complete team performance by the Delhi Capitals as they implemented their learnings from their previous encounter against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
"So overall it was a team performance and the batters had the intention to play their shots, whatever we spoke about in the meeting. That's what we probably missed out in the last game where we were a bit tentative chasing against SRH."
Mohammad Kaif on the Delhi Capitals' bowling effort
Mohammad Kaif was further asked about the Delhi Capitals' plans to stifle Kolkata Knight Riders in their run chase. He responded that the team was unfortunate that Amit Mishra got injured and could not complete his quota of overs, considering the variety he brought to the attack while also having picked the crucial wicket of Shubman Gill.
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"Amit Mishra got injured I think. He would have played a major role. He was a bit different compared to other bowlers. A bit slower in the air and has been playing in the IPL for last many years. Shubman Gill's wicket was very important because he is someone who likes to play till the end."
He observed that it was probably not the best of days for Kagiso Rabada and also had a word of praise for Rahul Tripathi, who had kept KKR in the hunt right till the end.
"Rabada probably had a bad day. Overall it was a complete game but the way Mishra bowled to Gill was great to see. Tripathi was a surprise because he has not been playing a lot in this tournament. He got a chance and he played very good."
Mohammad Kaif signed off by stating that the match had almost gone down to the wire and expressed happiness that Delhi Capitals were able to pull off a victory.
"It was touch and go in the end because one bad over and the game could have gone either side. When you come to Sharjah you expect a high-scoring match but at the end of the day we had a good game."
Kagiso Rabada was taken to the cleaners by the Kolkata Knight Riders batsmen in yesterday's encounter. However, his South African teammate Anrich Nortje rose to the occasion and provided crucial breakthroughs for the Delhi Capitals to derail the KKR run chase.
Published 04 Oct 2020, 09:01 IST