Nothing is held back. It’s almost as if the Delhi Capitals couldn’t have got out of Delhi any sooner. One by one, their gun batsmen line up in the nets at the Chinnaswamy and take aim at the empty stands watching over them, a day ahead of their crucial match against the RCB.
There are certain teams, like SRH and CSK, who relish choking the opposition on sluggish pitches because they have the resources to do so. But, with the make-up of their squad that boasts of some top seam options and stroke players who like the ball to come on, that’s just not the Delhi way. And so, the tired pitch at the Kotla has been quite to their detriment.
“Even with the new ball when Shiki (Shikhar Dhawan) bhai and I were batting it was too slow, turning from the second over,” Prithvi Shaw told reporters in Bangalore on Saturday (April 6). “Fast bowlers with the new ball getting some cutters and turn.”
And that’s how they were shackled by the Sunrisers Hyderabad in their previous match, going down to a second consecutive defeat. Now, with two wins from five matches, Delhi need to be cautious. So this visit to the Chinnaswamy, which has been very conducive for strokeplay, couldn’t have come at a better time, not to mention the severe scrutiny the RCB bowling attack have been under after their mindblowing failure to defend 53 from the last three overs against KKR.
“Not really talking about the opposition how they are doing or how they are bowling,” Shaw said. “We are just going to prepare ourselves and execute it. It starts from the preparation we do at the nets. We’ve seen on TV (the other matches) on how the wicket is playing here. It is very good to bat. I feel that this wicket is going to be good for batting and we are looking forward to some good runs on the board.”
The Capitals are regarded as one of the teams whose core is quite strong when it comes to building for the future, with quite a lot of promising youngsters in the ranks. But in the present, that can equate to inexperience, which has already manifested itself in a couple of run-chase which they’ve botched from winning positions.
That’s where, Shaw believes, having someone like Ricky Ponting and Sourav Ganguly to talk to is invaluable, to focus on the mental aspects of the game.
“They know how to handle a youngster because they’ve also been in those days. They know how to handle pressure, they know how to talk to them. Not maybe technically, not on skills, but mentally how to prepare youngster. I just question a lot to them. I just like to question a lot to coaches because I want to take all the things they’ve done. How to score runs, how to tackle situations,” Shaw said.
Shaw talks about the freedom offered by the coaches, who don’t like to bind the players technically. That freedom is visible when the practice session gets into full swing. The Delhi batsmen just can’t get enough of lining deliveries up and unleashing their arms. At one point, there’s a feeble RCB chant from the small group of fans that’ve turned up. But that quickly turns into loud gasps of admiration when Rishabh Pant launches a one-handed six into the top-tier. Far away from the Kotla, the Capitals are feeling at home in their bid to turn things around.