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IPL 2019 | Hardik Pandya’s Charge Took Game Away from Delhi Capitals: Praveen Amre

Cricketnext Staff |April 19, 2019, 9:12 AM IST
IPL 2019 | Hardik Pandya’s Charge Took Game Away from Delhi Capitals: Praveen Amre

India all-rounder Hardik Pandya recently expressed his desire in concentrating on finishing an innings well for his side. And once again, the swashbuckling batsman was at the heart of a crucial late charge for the Mumbai Indians against Delhi Capitals at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on Thursday.

Keemo Paul bowled the 18th over, and Hardik along with brother Krunal quite simply launched into him, scoring 17 of the 50 runs they managed in the final three overs of the innings to finish with 168. Delhi failed to chase that down and were handed a 40 run defeat on their own patch.

The presence of the Pandya brothers was the sole reason that the Capitals could not revert back to their spinners, who had earlier in the innings troubled the visitors, said Praveen Amre.

"We have to give credit to the way the Mumbai Indians batted. The last four overs they got 58 runs. Hardik Pandya's innings was very crucial - 15 balls, 32 runs - that really got the runs on the board. We felt like this was a 150 pitch and I think that extra cushion they got - 18 runs - that made the difference, and put the pressure (on us). After 10 overs it was chasing 10 runs per over. It was not that easy a task considering the Kotla wicket," said Amre, who is the Head of Scouting for the Delhi Capitals.

That wasn’t the only thing that troubled the Delhi side at the Kotla on Thursday evening, as their batsmen failed to break the shackles against Rohit Sharma’s bowlers, who were disciplined all through.

Ten of their first 13 overs were bowled by the Mumbai spinners, and the Capitals’ batsmen just could not get away. At the end of 13 overs, Delhi were struggling at 73/4 with Rishabh Pant and Axar Patel at the crease and Rohit still had six overs off Jasprit Bumrah and Lasith Malinga in the bank.

Three wickets for Rahul Chahar, one for Krunal, and Jayant Yadav helped spin a web around the Delhi batting lineup, raising questions about their composition and ability to fire under pressure.

"He (Chahar) controlled the game in the first 10 overs and picked up the wickets of the top batsmen, which was very important," said Amre.

"(The spinners) bowled in the powerplay. That gave them the extra cushion to use their experienced bowlers later on. The middle overs really cost us (with the bat) and that's where we have to really work on. Playing the spinners' overs well will be very important. Our Indian middle order batsmen have to stand up and deliver."

Mumbai Indians’ all-rounder Krunal was understandably happy with the result and said that they managed to do more damage while batting than they expected to on a tricky Kotla wicket.

"While batting it was a very tricky wicket. We were not aiming for 170, we were aiming around 145, (which we thought) was a good total on this wicket. But the way Hardik batted, scoring at a strike rate of more than 200, it changed the momentum for us and I guess we got 20-30 more."

"When Surya and I were batting, we weren't thinking of getting nine or ten runs an over. We were just trying to get those four-five crucial overs where we can set a good platform for Hardik and (Kieron) Pollard, and if we are set we can also carry on. So it was a crucial partnership in that particular moment," Krunal said.

Krunal, who finished with a wicket and an unbeaten 37 to go with that, put on a half-century partnership with his brother Hardik.

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