Karun Nair would have wished for a worse IPL captaincy debut. Being shot out for 67 batting first, Delhi Daredevils suffered a 10-wicket loss at the hands of Kings XI Punjab in Mohali. Nair was appointed the captain after Zaheer Khan missed the game due to a hamstring injury he suffered in the last game. (Results | Fixtures | Points Table)
Delhi chief coach Rahul Dravid defended two decisions, both related to Nair. First, his appointment as captain, second, his form with the bat. He said that his individual form is not related to captaincy.
“We decided pretty early on in the tournament that if Zaheer Khan gets injured, Karun would be the person, who will take over the captaincy. Obviously, last year’s vice-captain JP (Duminy) and Quinton de Kock wasn’t here as well,” Dravid said. “Look, it happens when you are out-of-form, whether you are a captain or you are a vice captain, that’s not a reflection on his captaincy. He has led junior teams and led quite well. There is nothing much he can do if there are not good enough runs on the board. Obviously, he and we would like him to score a few more runs.”
Talking about Delhi’s form in the tournament, Dravid said that it is very disappointing to see the team not executing.
“It is very disappointing, just to think there is not much to say when you get out for 67 and they chase it without loss. Nothing much to say except the fact that we were pretty disappointing today in our execution and our batting just was not up to mark.”
Delhi have won two games out of the eight played but have lost five in a row now. They are still in the play-off race but Dravid said his team is not thinking of winning the remaining six matches on the trot.
“We can only go up from here. Look, we are better than what we showed on Sunday.” he said. “We lost some close games which were relatively close. But the last couple of times, I think, we did not play well. Even in Kolkata, I thought first 15 overs of our batting was good and then we lost in the last five overs. And then, of course, we were really very poor and we didn’t bat intelligently on that kind of wicket. We didn’t assess the conditions well enough and didn’t give ourselves a chance. We should not try and think too far ahead, just focus on our next game and put up much better performance. I think our fans and our franchise deserves better than what we did.”
Dravid also said that it is difficult to maintain consistency in T20 cricket especially with games coming quickly and back-to-back.
“Yeah, I think once you are in good form and you get on a bit of a roll, in this T20 competition, especially with games coming so quickly and back-to-back. Hopefully, we can go to Delhi and turn it around. There is not a lot of time to practice between these games, we literally travel, play the next day, so there is not lot of time to practice and sort of get your groove back,” he said.
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