Opening match against SRH to set tone for table-toppers Delhi Capitals: Kaif

Delhi Capitals’ assistant coach Mohammad Kaif said on Wednesday that the first IPL match of the Delhi franchise against Sunrisers Hyderabad on September 22 will set the tone for the rest of the tournament in Dubai.

The former cricketer, who has joined the pre-season camp in Dubai recently, added that while there was a big break after the first half of the IPL which was suspended on May 3 due to the bio-bubble breach, his players were in good shape as many of them had been “playing international cricket”.

“There has been a big break after the first half of the IPL, but we are fortunate that most of the players have been playing international cricket regularly. We have a well-balanced side as there are players with international cricket experience and domestic players, who have been putting in good performances. The first match is going to be crucial for us. Our performance in the first match will set the momentum for us.”

Delhi Capitals are leading the table with 12 points from eight games.

Kaif added that the roles of some of the players in the Delhi Capitals team may change because of the change in venue from India to UAE.

“We played well in India and now we have to carry forward our performance here in the UAE. The roles for some of the players compared to the first half of the IPL may change because the conditions are different here. We have to start afresh in the second half of the tournament. We are looking to get used to the conditions here in the next few days and also play a couple of practice matches,” said the 40-year-old.

On Shreyas Iyer’s comeback to the side, Kaif said that the batsman’s return is the biggest plus for the team, “There are not many changes to the squad as compared to the first half of the tournament, however the biggest plus for us is that Shreyas Iyer is back in the squad. He is a fantastic player and he’s been playing well for us in the last couple of seasons. We are looking forward to seeing him play this season.”