Delhi Capitals’ Kagiso Rabada revealed that the flat nature of the Abu Dhabi wicket forced DC to adhere to a defensive approach with the ball, particularly during the middle. As DC, on Saturday, slumped to their second straight defeat, Rabada admitted that there is slight concern within the camp.
Having dominated the first half of the season, Delhi Capitals endured their second straight hiccup on Saturday as the side slumped to a crushing 59-run defeat at the hands of a resurgent Kolkata Knight Riders. But while the scorecard looks damning, Delhi did, in fact, have the edge in the game at one point.
Having reduced KKR to 44/3 inside eight overs, Shreyas Iyer’s men had the upper hand but they sensationally lost the plot in the middle overs as a rather defensive approach versus Sunil Narine and Nitish Rana - not bowling either Rabada or Nortje - backfired heavily, as the duo struck a remarkable 59 runs off spin and gentle pace between overs 8-12, after which they never looked back. Delhi never recovered from the onslaught and eventually slumped to a heavy defeat.
Speaking in the post match press conference, purple-cap holder Kagiso Rabada, who added two more wickets to his tally on Saturday, revealed that the flat nature of the wicket forced Delhi to go on the defensive and admitted that it was just ‘one of those days’ where everything went against the side.
"The pitch looked like it was easy paced and wasn't gripping much. That forced us to be on the defensive. Nitish Rana and Narine batted really well. They really got the runs flowing. They are quality players who are also allowed to do well. In saying that, we back ourselves to get them out on any given day. We just have to see where we might have let it slip. We just need to focus on the details,” Rabada said in the post-match press conference.
"After the good start we had, we let it slip away a little bit. It can happen to anyone. It just wasn't our day. We weren't complacent. The teams here are of real quality and you can't take your foot off the gas. These things happen. We've played enough cricket to know where we have gone wrong."
Saturday was Delhi’s second defeat in as many games as earlier in the week, Iyer’s men were toppled by a doughty Kings XI Punjab side. With 7 wins in 11 games, DC are in prime position to make the playoffs but yet, with both KKR and KXIP catching up, three defeats in the last three games could see the Capitals miss out on the playoffs. Rabada admitted that there is ‘a bit of concern’ and insisted that it was important for the side to take a step back and analyze where they went wrong.
"When you lose it is a bit of a concern. We started the tournament really well and set us up really nicely. We need to win one more game. We are looking to win at least two of the three remaining games but we need one more win to get into qualifying.
"That is just how the nature of the tournament is. It's quality vs quality. Any team can rock up on the day. We've been playing some really good cricket. We just need to emphasise on what we've done really well. Just analyse where we've let the game slip away. We don't need to focus on a big area. It happens in IPL. We back ourselves all the time. We are not too worried but just a little bit of concern."