After a dream start to IPL 2020, DC have fizzled out with time, losing out four straight games and their assistant coach Mohammad Kaif has stated that players are feeling pressure at this moment. He also added that after a great start, the players relaxed, so this was going to happen.
Things are going from bad to worse for Delhi Capitals, who were once looking the best side of the tournament with seven wins from nine games. It looked a mere formality for the team to qualify for the top four with a place in the top two looking sealed. But, the tournament has gone upside down for Iyer's men as they have succumbed to four back-to-back defeats as their batting unit has completely gone down in the last few games. Even in the Saturday game against Mumbai Indians, all that they could make was 110 runs, which was hunted down by MI rather easily with nine wickets in hand.
DC's assistant coach, Mohammad Kaif stated that the players were feeling the pressure. After a big loss against MI, with the Men in Blue winning the game with 34 balls to spare, the Capitals' net run rate (NRR) fell below the Kings XI Punjab's NRR.
"The players are feeling a bit of pressure. That's going to happen, we expect that. Losing matches back to back is not an easy thing. But we are trying to keep the team together. At some stage, you are going lose form and struggle. We are still backing our main players and, hopefully, they will come good in the next match," Kaif said in the post-match press conference.
"We didn't expect that it might come down to NRR. We had won some good matches and thought we would qualify easily but now we have to fight it out against RCB."
Kaif also revealed that the side relaxed a bit after a flying start in the tournament, so such performances were inevitable. He added that losing Ishant Sharma and Amit Mishra to injuries hit them hard.
"I think this was going to happen," Kaif said. "We had a good start and [we] probably relaxed a bit in the middle. And of course, injuries to Ishant [Sharma] and Amit Mishra meant losing two of our main players and we had to try uncapped Indian players. That's why we couldn't get the XI going.
DC had replaced Ajinkya Rahane with Prithvi Shaw for the game against MI but the move backfired as Shaw failed yet again, continuing his wretched run of form in the tournament. Kaif said that the team felt it was the right move to bring him back to the side.
"We got back Prithvi Shaw, he had a couple of good knocks initially in the tournament. If he gets going, we all know what Prithvi Shaw can do on his day. [We were] just trying to find out the best combination. Having lost the last three matches, we thought this was the right time to change a bit here and there."
DC will play their final game against RCB on Monday in Abu Dhabi. They have 14 points after 13 games.