The opening duo of Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan have consistently churned out impressive starts for Delhi Capitals and they were at it again on Monday (April 22) against Rajasthan Royals. The duo added 72 runs for the opening stand in a shade over seven overs giving Delhi the perfect platform in the 194-run chase.
While Dhawan slammed 54 in just 27 deliveries, Shaw was more measured in his approach. Speaking at the post-match press conference the opener admitted that the approach was for one batsman to go all guns blazing and the other to try and take the game as deep as possible.
"It makes sense if someone is going better than you in the Power Play like Shikhi (Shikhar Dhawan) bhai has done, I can't just go out and smash every ball. I have to be mentally prepared as well to play that sort of innings. When Dhawan was hitting the way he was, I thought I should take the game deep because incase he got out, one set batsman should be there to take the game deep," said Shaw at the post-match press conference.
"And that's what happened, he and Shreyas Iyer, both were dismissed in quick succession. But I was confident that if I took the game deep, I would be able to do the job. Rishabh, obviously is the biggest finisher of the game in T20 right now. I was just waiting for my chance and later on I too switched gears."
Despite conceding 193, Shaw said that Delhi were pretty happy at the halfway mark and were confident of chasing down the total. With the boundaries rather big at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium all the visitors needed was a quick start and the openers ensured that happened.
"Definitely, there was a plan. We knew in the Power Play there will at least be one spinner bowling and Shikhar bhai was batting so well in the Power Play, he was in a good flow. Then Jofra Archer, we knew he depends more on short balls and bouncers, so we were prepared," said Shaw.
"The way they started, it felt like the wicket was pretty good. Also, I felt we bowled really well between overs 13 and 20, otherwise Rajasthan looked like scoring 210-220 at one stage. And we were confident of chasing down 190 on this surface. The boundaries here were so huge that one of us had to take a chance in the Power Play, be it me or Dhawan."
Sanju Samson, on the other hand, admitted that having lost seven out of their 10 matches, it would be very difficult for Rajasthan to now qualify for the Playoffs.
"It is a very tough chance now. I think we have to look at other teams now, we had a chance had we won all five games but now I think we have to look at the other teams," said Samson.
It wasn't the best outings for Samson who was dismissed for a diamond duck but Ajinkya Rahane's unbeaten century propelled Rajasthan to 193/4. However, it proved insufficient in the end with Rishabh Pant and Dhawan blowing the hosts away.
"It was a good wicket to start with, it was a decent wicket. Think in the first innings, in the Power Play, the wicket was holding up a bit, but as the dew came it became much easier to bat on in the second innings. Having a batsman like Shikhar Dhawan in Delhi, and in the form he is, he took the Power Play from us and Rishabh Pant came and did the job for them," remarked Samson.