Rishabh Pant was highly impressed with Avesh Khan, whose 3/15 laid the foundation of Delhi Capitals’ four-wicket win over Mumbai Indians in Sharjah on Saturday, October 2. The speedster is currently the second highest wicket-taker in IPL 2021, with 21 wickets from 12 matches at an average of 15.
Opting to field on what has been a slow and sluggish surface in Sharjah through this season, Delhi Capitals bowlers never allowed Mumbai Indians to get going in their innings, striking regularly throughout. Quinton de Kock (19) and Suryakumar Yadav (33) got to starts, but lack of substantial partnerships meant that the DC were always ahead in the game.
The bowlers did keep MI in hunt while defending a low score, but that wasn’t enough as Shreyas Iyer managed to take his side home with a well-crafted unbeaten 33.
"In Sharjah, the wicket always plays differently. Yes, it's a hard-fought victory. We were planning to bowl mostly the fast bowlers in the powerplay. Easier for the spinner in these tracks. I held back one over of Ashwin to keep him away from Pollard and Hardik,” said Pant after DC’s win.
The skipper reserved high praises for Avesh Khan, who is currently the second highest wicket-taker in the season.
“Avesh is the find of the season for us. At Delhi Capitals, we learn from our mistakes and pick up. We have to solidify our batting. Stoinis should be fine in a few days, and that will be good for us. You can't always go for it, but someone has to be aggressive in the powerplay," he added.
Earlier, it was Axar who struck crucial blows during the middle overs of the MI innings, accounting for Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav and Saurabh Tiwary to tighten the screws on the batting side. The all-rounder was immensely pleased with his overall effort, and reflected on De Kock’s wicket which gave his side an opening.
"I am able to read the batter more easily and can plan better,” said Axar as he received the Player of the Match award. “If I can think about what the batter is doing and deny them the ideal ball, I can be more successful. (On de Kock's wicket) I thought he would go for the slog sweep or through cover. That's why I hung it out there for him to hit. I think there's no need to experiment when some of the simple things are working better."
The Capitals will take on the Chennai Super Kings in Dubai on Monday, October 4.