Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has opined that the Delhi Capitals (DC) have been dishing out lackluster performances in their last few matches and that they will have to lift their game several notches to make it to the IPL 2020 playoffs.
He made this observation while reviewing the Shreyas Iyer-led side's crushing defeat at the hands of the Mumbai Indians (MI) in a video shared on his YouTube channel.
"No Rohit, no Hardik Pandya, no problem says Mumbai. They demolished the Delhi Capitals to be very honest. Mumbai will definitely finish in the top two while Delhi is crash-landing. This is their 4th consecutive loss, they are struggling and how."
The reputed commentator highlighted the lack of confidence in the Delhi Capitals lineup. Iyer's side seem to have lost the momentum they gained in the initial stages of the tournament.
"The Delhi Capitals situation is bad as they seem to be in low spirits. It was a race of the hare and the tortoise. The hare ran very fast, 7 wins in 9 matches, similar is the case with RCB, they got to 14 points very quickly but they have to go above 14."
He added that the Delhi Capitals still making wholesale changes to their playing XI is a clear indication of instability in the lineup.
"Delhi played Prithvi Shaw instead of Rahane, played Harshal Patel for Tushar Deshpande. Axar was dropped because the opposing team had left-handers, interesting. They went into the contest with three changes which means they are trying to fix things and that is not always a good thing."
While talking about the Delhi Capitals batting effort, Aakash Chopra pointed out that Shikhar Dhawan has failed to click after his back-to-back tons while Prithvi Shaw threw away his wicket by playing an injudicious shot.
"They got off to a bad start. Shikhar Dhawan has not scored runs after the two consecutive hundreds and Delhi desperately needs him to fire. If he doesn't score, they will be stuck. Prithvi Shaw hits two fours and plays the third shot in the air, Prithvi play down the ground and along the ground."
"They lose two wickets and after that they were going at a snail's pace. Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant played very slowly. Rahul Chahar comes and Shreyas Iyer is also out."
He highlighted that Jasprit Bumrah drilled the last nail in the Delhi Capitals' coffin by dismissing Marcus Stoinis and Rishabh Pant in the same over.
"After that Bumrah picks two wickets in an over, first Stoinis and then Rishabh Pant. And that's it, game over. Hetmyer tried to hit but he also couldn't strike it. They didn't reach even 120 in a 120-ball game. This is something really really worrying now."
Aakash Chopra pointed out that it was an easy run-chase for the Mumbai Indians as they romped home to a 9-wicket victory.
"Mumbai came to bat after that and scored the runs in a hurry. They scored the 111 runs for the loss of just one wicket."
Aakash Chopra on the problems afflicting the Delhi Capitals
Talking about the problems that are bogging down the Delhi Capitals, Aakash Chopra stated that Prithvi Shaw will have to score runs while adding that he got out by playing a reckless shot.
"Prithvi Shaw will have to score runs. He can talk about being in and out, but the fact is that he is an India player with a debut century in Test cricket, made a good start to the tournament and was dropped because he had a few single-digit scores and then played a bad shot to get out."
He added that the Delhi Capitals batting mainstays - Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer - need to get back their mojo if the franchise aspires to come back to winning ways.
"Shikhar Dhawan has to score runs. Rishabh Pant hasn't fired and Shreyas Iyer has gone off the boil. So, if these four core Indian players who bat in the top 4 do not contribute, then they are stuck. If Delhi Capitals have to win again, then they will have to play."
While pointing out that a win in their next match against RCB will help the Delhi Capitals finish in the top two, the 43-year-old observed that the team hasn't been dishing out match-winning performances.
"If Delhi wins their next match against RCB, they will still go ahead but they will have to play the cricket worthy of winning. It is not looking the team that won 7 out of their first 9 matches."
Aakash Chopra signed off by highlighting that the Delhi Capitals outfit is looking listless and will have to lift their game several notches to turn things around.
"And it is not that they are coming close and losing. Their approach is a little timid, this team looks completely lackluster at this point of time. They need to turnaround and how."
The Delhi Capitals batting lineup has dished out insipid performances in their last few matches. They would have to regain their lost touch quickly as a loss against the Royal Challengers Bangalore could even signal the end of the road for them in the tournament.