Talking about the transformation of Delhi Capitals, Last year it registered five wins and nine losses to be at the bottom of the league table, but they had a great come back to reverse the win-loss ratio in this year IPL and finished third in the standings. Now, they’re one level away from earning the right to play Mumbai Indians in the final of IPL 2019.
The Eliminator, Delhi against Sunrisers Hyderabad was a potential unexpected situation Delhi Capitals smoothly avoided with a scrappy two-wicket win on Wednesday, but Match against three-time champions Chennai Super Kings will not be a cup of a Tea.
In one of the promotional videos this season, Rishabh Pant sees to call MS Dhoni his guru (mentor) but warns him he will come down heavily when his Delhi Capitals face against Chennai Super Kings.
Earlier, in the two matches, they’ve played against each other, Dhoni seems Superior by scoring more runs and guiding his team home comfortably. In the eve of the third tie between them, and with a final level at stake, Rishab Pant has his head up with by win two successive match knocks, played in a contrasting manner.
Pant hung around to see his team through to a difficult as well as tricky chase against Rajasthan Royals with a bold half-century last week and smashed his way to 49 off 21 balls in the face off with Sunrisers Hyderabad on Wednesday to put his team on the higher level of victory. While they suffered some hurdles in the last over after his dismissal, Delhi Capitals make sure that Pant’s efforts didn’t go waste. By praising Pant’s Efforts Prithi Shaw said: “I have always said that he (Pant) is the best finisher I have seen among all the young players. He just opened the game (on Wednesday).”
Further added he said: “He is such a good player that he can turn the game around any time. If you need 50-60, he can turn it around.”
Shaw correctly called Pant the best finisher ‘among youngsters’ for Dhoni is not done yet. At the age of 37, Dhoni still match the youngster in the number of sixes this IPL — one every 13 balls as against Rishab Pant’s one every 11 balls. Both of them scored over 400 runs. Dhoni’s massive average (135 to 37) and lower strike rate (139 to Pant’s 164) can contribute to the fact that he has finished unbeaten on more occasions (7 against 3) and has not thrown away his wicket as often as Pant has.
On Wednesday, Delhi Capitals saw tense in the home stretch to win despite Pant’s late dismissal. But this is not the case every time as Pant in earlier games would leave plenty of work for the late order and in results Delhi Capitals either losing or taking it to Super Over. In a face-off with SRH this time, he left little for the lower order in just five runs. In the last two games, Pant has shown his progress as a finisher. He recognizes his faults but said a negative mindset doesn’t help and if there is a ball to be hit, it has to be hit. “It is in our muscle memory, and that is why we practice so much.”
The Qualifier 2 will be played on an alongside the track, means it will again be a sticky wicket with support for spinners.
A batting line-up with only Shikhar Dhawan as experts, Delhi will have to be mature against a side that relies almost entirely on experience. With Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Shane Watson, Dwayne Bravo besides Dhoni in their team, the Iyer-Pant-Shaw trio will have to make use of Wednesday’s experience on the pitch count. As mentioned by Shaw, The big threat for them would be Harbhajan Singh and Imran Tahir.
Now there is only wait for a face-off between Eliminator and Qualifier 2 – This is big as it gets and all eyes will be on Dhoni and Pant. Especially when both are in form and guiding their team’s fortunes, the bowlers have a task on hand.