Acting skipper Shikhar Dhawan has revealed that Tushar Deshpande’s delivery to get Ben Stokes out was the game-changer for Delhi against Rajasthan on Wednesday. He also stated that it was a conscious effort from his side to go out charging during his 33-ball 57 after Delhi were reduced to 10/2.
Chasing 162, Royals were on track for their second successive run-chase, with the ferocious start from English pair of Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes. While Buttler brought out his cheeky scoops early on, Stokes’ pure timing ensured that the asking rate never ticked like a time-bomb. After the failure against the Sunrisers, the southpaw played more patiently, taking every ball by its merit while Buttler took the bowlers for a ride.
While the right-handed opener and RR skipper Steve Smith were dismissed in the span of an over, Stokes remained the key for the Royals, who found themselves at the bottom of the IPL table. In the 11th over, when the acting skipper brought Tushar Deshpande in, the game turned around its head, with the pacer accounting for Stokes, that triggered a mini-collapse and later into a win. Dhawan, following the game, revealed that Tushar’s wicket was the game-changer.
“I enjoyed being the captain. However, unfortunately, we lost Shreyas Iyer, hopefully, he is fine. I would like to thank all my teammates for supporting and responding to me, especially Ajinkya Rahane and Alex Carey. It was really good to see Tushar respond so calmly to my orders during the pressure situation. The way he got us the breakthrough of Ben Stokes, it was the game-changer for us,” he told Nortje after the game in a video posted by IPLT20.
On a personal note, after a fifty against Mumbai Indians, Dhawan’s intent was questioned widely, with Delhi missing their able striker, Rishabh Pant. However, the southpaw came back strongly, scoring with a 33-ball 57 when they found themselves tumbling at 10/2 before getting out trying to be too adventurous with a reverse scoop.
“It feels quite good, to be honest, great that I could get back-to-back fifties. It was a conscious and courageous effort from my side to go out scoring hard in the powerplay. We had lost a couple of wickets but still went out attacking, unleashing my shots. I enjoyed today’s innings and gladly it went my way.”