IPL 2022: Need to stop losing wickets in bunch; play less dot balls in middle overs, says Pant

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Delhi Capitals skipper Rishabh Pant said that his team needs to work on stopping losing wickets in a heap and play less number of dot balls in the middle overs in IPL 2022.

Losing wickets in a heap has been a problem area for Delhi, which again came to the fore in their six-wicket loss to Lucknow Super Giants when they lost Prithvi Shaw, David Warner and Rovman Powell in quick succession.

“It’s been two-three matches and we are seeing a pattern, so we have to work on not losing wickets in bunch and playing fewer dot balls in the middle overs. We will work on ourselves and I hope we’ll be fine going forward in the tournament,” said Pant in the post-match virtual press conference.

Pant admitted that Delhi will have to find a way to solve their batting problems with all-rounder Mitchell Marsh still absent.

“Mitchell Marsh was there in our initial playing eleven. But because of international commitments and the recent injury, he is yet to come. We’re obviously missing him, but as a batting unit, we have to find ways to improve ourselves.”

Asked about promoting the big-hitting Powell to number three, Pant explained, “We sent Powell early because we had gotten off to a good start in the powerplay. And we had a thought process from before, that since the ball was turning more after getting old, we thought he might do something good for the team if we send him up. But it didn’t pay off.

“Like in the first two matches, we lost two-three wickets together, which created some pressure. But Sarfaraz and I tried to build a partnership (75 off 57 balls), and at the end, Avesh (Khan) and (Jason) Holder bowled really good two-three overs and we couldn’t get those 10 extra runs.”

Looking at the positives for Delhi, Pant praised left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav for taking 2/31 in 3.4 overs and filled in for Anrich Nortje when the pacer was taken off the attack after bowling two beamers.

“He has been working hard on his bowling since the last year when he has been out with injury. Ek hota hai na ke chance nahi milta (He was not getting the chance). But now he is getting more chances after a long time. We are trying to back him as much as possible. We are giving him confidence so that he can bowl with his own bowling style. We are trying to capitalise on that and he is doing well.”

Asked about thoughts on finishing Kuldeep’s overs at one go, Pant remarked, “We discussed whether to bowl Kuldeep’s all overs on one stretch or use him in the final overs of the game. But dew has also been playing its part so we decided to let Kuldeep bowl his quota of overs and went with the fast bowlers in the end.”

Pant signed off by saying that Lucknow’s bowling attack did well to capitalise on non-dewy conditions in the first innings.

“Some days, bowlers are going to have a good day and today was one of those days. In the first innings, the ball was stopping more because there was no dew. So they could capitalise on that, which is why we were 10 runs short in the end.”

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