After Delhi Capitals registered a comfortable seven wicket win at the Eden Gardens against Kolkata Knight Riders on Friday, Delhi captain Shreyas Iyer expressed his satisfaction at the position his team now finds itself in the IPL, climbing up to fourth spot.
Shikhar Dhawan’s breezy 97 off 63 balls meant that the Capitals got over the line comfortably, and Iyer also lauded Dhawan’s presence in the team.
“It’s an amazing feeling, before the game I was just recollecting the last win. Today is a special day for us because now we’ve won four out of seven for the first time since the time I’ve been playing here,” Iyer said.
“So yes, good to get back-to-back victories and I am feeling satisfied with our results thus far.
“It’s amazing to watch Shikhar bat. We had discussed that either one of the batsmen in the top order had to take that responsibility and bat till the end. Today, he came out and delivered for the team.
“We cherish it every time he’s around. He’s an amazing personality to have in the team and the experience he shares with everyone is unlimited.”
Shubman Gill starred for KKR in the first innings with his 65 off 39 balls, with Andre Russell hitting a trademark 21 ball 45 as well. The batting performances on either side indicated how the pitch had played out, with Iyer noting the difference between the Eden Gardens pitch and the one at Kotla.
“There’s a vast difference between the Kotla pitch and this one. We love to bat on such tracks, you can look at the way we played in Mumbai. So all the batsmen, all the talent we have, they love batting on variable tracks and the way Shikhar played today, he showed experience and class in the top order. The way he took us till the end, it was something to be appreciated.”
Man of the match Shikhar Dhawan praised the pitch as well, while adding that the team has to collectively get better at adapting to their pitch at home.
“The pitch over here is completely the opposite of Delhi, I was just telling Dinesh (Karthik) that this is a beautiful pitch to bat on, specially in T20 cricket. It supports both the bowler and the batsman and that’s good, it makes things more entertaining,” he said.
“At the same time, we have to adapt ourselves more, and that’s a challenge that we need to take as a team and as batsmen. How quickly we adapt and how smartly we play there, it’s a skill to have.”
Dhawan was just three runs short of scoring his maiden T20 century, and while he admitted the milestone was at the back of his mind, he said that the team came first.
“I knew that it could be my first T20 hundred, but at the same time I knew that the team goal is more important. That’s why I took a single instead of hitting that big shot and taking a risk.”
Meanwhile, KKR captain Dinesh Karthik said that the total his side put up was not a par-score on the wicket, and demanded more from his bowlers in the coming matches.
“The par score here is probably around 15 runs more than that, so I didn’t think 178 was a great total,” Karthik said. “Having said that, I expected our bowlers to put up a better fight but it happens in a game of cricket.
“On this ground, picking wickets has been really hard because of the way the wicket has played, the batsmen have been able to play their shots. But there are also a couple of areas where the bowlers can work and come back harder," he concluded.