Delhi Capitals assistant coach Mohammad Kaif asserted that his side’s goal this season is to go one step further than they did last year, and insisted that the team has the quality to land the championship. Kaif attested that, this time around, Delhi are lucky to have a bunch of in-form players.
The Delhi Daredevils were officially renamed ‘Delhi Capitals’ ahead of the 2019 season, and, coincidence or not, there has been a remarkable turn in fortunes for the franchise ever since. In 2019 the Capitals reached the playoffs for the first time in seven years and, last season, under the leadership of Shreyas Iyer, the side reached its first ever final before falling short at the very end against an impregnable Mumbai Indians side.
Having reached the final last season, there will be more pressure and expectations this time around, but unperturbed by the same is the Capitals’ assistant coach Mohammad Kaif. The 40-year-old asserted that Delhi will be looking to win the title this time around, and added that the side will be bolstered by the fact that they have a plethora of in-form players who have been tearing world cricket apart in the past couple of months.
"We want to go one step further this year and that's the Delhi Capitals team goal. We have the players to win the title," a Capitals release quoted Kaif as saying.
"We were very close last year and the plus point for this season is that most of the players such as Rishabh Pant have been playing a lot of cricket. They have been in touch with the game and therefore they are in good rhythm going into the IPL."
Delhi completed an intense practice session on Saturday, and Kaif revealed that the team focused on taking catches under lights. The IPL 2020 season saw a host of teams, including the Capitals themselves, put down a ton of regulation catches, particularly in day-night matches.
"The players have been carrying out batting and bowling drills in the last few days. As a coaching group we decided to focus on fielding skills in today's practice session.
"The players took some catches under lights. It was a great session. I got to meet many young players in the team and the experienced ones as well. I had a good chat with Ravichandran Ashwin and Ajinkya Rahane,” Kaif said.
While Kaif has already linked up with the squad, Head Coach Ricky Ponting is yet to do so, with him still in quarantine. The assistant coach attested that he was eager to link up with Ponting and devise training plans for the team for the forthcoming season.
"I am looking forward to meeting Ricky in person. I have been in touch with him on the phone. We will chalk out a training plan with Ponting for the upcoming days once he joins the team on the field.”
Delhi will play their first match of the season against the Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede on April 10.