Delhi Capitals’ Ajinkya Rahane insisted that teams are bound to encounter shock defeats in a long tournament like the IPL and claimed that it is of utmost importance for his side to stay positive ahead of their last two games. DC will head into their clash versus MI on a three-match losing streak.
With 7 wins from the first 9 matches, the Shreyas Iyer-led Delhi Capitals side were primed to not just make the playoffs, but finish inside the top two. However, an unprecedented situation struck the Capitals after their narrow win over Chennai as the side went on to lose each of their next three matches, all by scathing margins. Those defeats pushed Delhi to third in the table and now with just two games remaining in the group stages, the Capitals find themselves in a bit of a mess, needing to win at least one more game to seal qualification.
In the form of Mumbai Indians, the Capitals will face a tough opponent on Saturday but unphased by the same is opener Ajinkya Rahane. Speaking ahead of the all-important Mumbai clash, Rahane asserted that a few losses will not, all of a sudden, turn Delhi into a bad side and insisted that it was important for the players to keep the belief and stay positive as the fag end of the tournament approaches.
"I think we started off really well, won seven out of nine games initially, and then the last three games were not as per what we wanted, but this is going to happen in a tournament like IPL You play 14 league games, it's a big tournament," Rahane said during pre-match press conference.
"I think the upcoming two games are really important, and it's all about staying positive. Three losses don't make us a bad team. It's all about playing to our strength and backing each and every individual. As a team, we are really looking forward to playing against Mumbai now and then RCB."
Mumbai made easy work of the Capitals in the side’s previous H2H clash earlier this season and the Blues, who have already sealed qualification and sit atop with 16 points, will also be coming on the back of a dominant victory versus Bangalore. Rahane acknowledged the threat posed by Mumbai but expressed that his side would be able to take down the giants should they stick to their strengths and play as a unit.
"Mumbai are a good team, they are a strong team and we know their past as well. I mean, they did so well in IPL. For us, what is important is to play to our strength, what we have been doing, and it's all about giving our best tomorrow," said Rahane
"Each and every individual is capable of winning the game for our team, so I think we should believe in that and believe in our ability. We all know that they play as a unit and we know how strong they are. So, for us, it's all about playing as a unit against Mumbai Indians and play to win."
A pummelling at the hands of Sunrisers earlier this week shattered Delhi’s morale and Net Run Rate but thankfully for the side, they had a three-day break to charge up, hit the reset button and flush out the negative thoughts. Rahane admitted that, sometimes, a break can go a long way in helping sides reflect on mistakes and recoup and claimed that time off from the field in a demanding tournament like the IPL helps athletes both mentally and physically.
"Sometimes it does help, you can actually reflect what went wrong, especially the last three games. You can actually think about it and learn from your mistakes. It does help mentally and physically also. You get a break, switch off completely, and think about your own preparations and what your team needs from you.
"I believe in that (the break), it's all about how you take it. After losing a game, you always learn a lot. In fact, after each and every game, I always believe that you learn something or the other.”