The Delhi Capitals fielding coach Mohammed Kaif commented on the performance of the team in the recently concluded season of the Indian Premier League. He spoke about every player candidly and explained in detail the importance of those individuals in the team.
He first spoke about Shikhar Dhawan and his outstanding season for the Capitals this year. He remembered an instance before the tournament started. He said that Dhawan once called him in the month of July and asked him id he is free for some throw down in the nets.
When Shikhar found his touch during the mid season where he scored two back to back centuries becoming the only player to do in the history of IPL, he remembered this instance and understood the importance of that will to perform well within a player can do wonders for the team.
He then talked about the first half of the tournament for the team this year. He said that they were the tea, to beat in the first half of the tournament, they lost there the touch in a few games but they made a splendid come back in the tournament after losing 4 games in a row and made it to the second spot on the points table.
He added that every team likes to chase in this format as they know the score to chase, the behavior of the pitch and the dew factor that would help them in the second half of the innings, but the head coach Ricky Ponting would have a different opinion on this.
He then added that he was in awe of this DC bowling unit which had phenomenal players from around the world in their unit. Their Indian contingent was also full of stars as it had likes of Amit Mishra, Ravi Ashwin, Ishant Sharma and Axar patel in their unit.
Kaif spoke about the book in which he was writing during the tournament while he was in the dugout. He said as soon as he opens that book the first name that comes in is of Ravi Ashwin.
Rabada came in just a week before tournament and from the second day of training he showed that he was in a good touch and wanted to do well for the team. He said that it is a known fact that batsmen will win you matches but the bowlers will win you the tournaments.
While speaking about their captain Shreyas Iyer, Kaif said that he was a classic captain and a more better batsmen as well. Iyer was given the captaincy of this side in the middle of tournament back in 2018 when Gambhir decided to step down as the captain of the side.
He has captained the side for the entire tournament for the last two seasons and both the seasons team has ended in the top four, so that shows the caliber of this player as a captain. His batting for the team has always been impactful. Even in the finals this year, he showed great maturity in his batting after loss of quick wickets.
The injuries did affect the balance of the team in the later half of the tournament. Losing key players like Amit Mishra and Ishant Sharma was big blow not only to the bowling unit but to the team as well as they bought a ton of experience to the side. While speaking about experienced players, Kaif added the name of Ajinkya Rahane to this list.
He mentioned the gamble they took with Marcus Stoinis this season. Kaif said that the coach and management always believed in him as a perfect player who can bat at any position and change the game for the team and can bowl a few handy overs as well whenever needed.
When Shaw and Rahane both weren’t able to get quick starts for the team, Ricky played the gamble of sending Stoinis to open the innings in the qualifier match against SRH where he stood up to that decision and gave a quick start to the side which helped them to win that game.
Kaif wrapped by saying that this season was by far their best season in the IPL, a few places where they need to just capitalize on crucial moments and they will definitely win the tournament in the upcoming years as this is a young side and they will only improve from here.