Really disappointing, there's not much to say: Rahul Dravid

Really disappointing, there’s not much to say: Rahul Dravid

It is an uphill task for the Daredevils to get into the top four of the IPL table here on and Dravid would want to wave his magic wand to bring the team back in the reckoning.

Delhi Daredevils coach Rahul Dravid
Delhi Daredevils coach Rahul Dravid interacts with captain Zaheer Khan. (Photo: IANS)

It was shocking display from the Delhi Daredevils batsmen after they were put in to bat at the PCA Stadium in Mohali against the Kings XI Punjab side led by Glenn Maxwell. The powerplay was almost reminiscent of their performance against the Mumbai Indians in their chase of 140 plus runs.

Little did anyone expect that a side coached by the Indian legend Rahul Dravid would succumb under pressure to crumble to a score below 100. The Delhi Daredevils side shocked everyone with the way they handled the situation. The score of 67 was the Daredevils lowest score in the IPL history. Kings XI Punjab chased down the total with ten wickets and 73 balls to spare in the innings.

“Really disappointing… I don’t know… there’s not much to say,” Dravid said. “We were really poor and we didn’t bat particularly intelligently on that kind of wicket. We didn’t assess the conditions well enough and we didn’t give ourselves a chance.”

Sandeep Sharma began the innings on a high for the Kings XI Punjab picking up wickets at regular intervals. The bowler challenged the batsmen with tight lines and lengths which put them under immense pressure. The pitch would have been easy to play for the Daredevils, had they played the match under floodlights. The dry surface did not help the batsmen whatsoever in the first innings.

“Normally you see Sandeep swings the ball a lot but I think he quickly figured the wicket was slightly on the slower side and so he bowled wicket to wicket and hit the right lengths,” Dravid said.

Dravid, further went on to commend the KXIP bowler and how his spell impacted the game. “I think the key for him really was the length. That sort of forced our batsmen to play some shots and we hit the ball in the air a lot which was not a wise thing to do so much on a slow wicket.”

The Daredevils do not possess a highly experienced batting line-up at the top of the order. Karun Nair, Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant have only ten caps to their name, which makes it tough for Dravid to keep up with.

He, however, had a counter to that criticism. “But they’ve been playing the IPL for a while now,” he said. “Most of them have shown glimpses of good performances in this tournament and in the past as well.”

“So really its going to be up to us and then themselves to lift ourselves up after this and really go out and try and play good cricket and not think too far ahead, try and focus on the next game and put in, definitely, a much better performance,” the DD mentor said.

Karun Nair was also handed the task of captaining the team in the absence of their experienced skipper Zaheer Khan and the vice-captain JP Duminy. South African wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock would have been given the role if not for his absence. This decision from the management came under the scanner for the form in which Karun is currently in.

“Obviously last year’s vice-captain JP [Duminy] isn’t here and Quinton [de Kock] isn’t here as well, so we had decided that Karun would be the person who would take over the captaincy and we stuck with that,” Dravid said.

“There are times when people are going to run out of form. Whether you’re the captain or vice-captain sometimes you run out of form. It happens. That’s not a reflection on his captaincy. Still he’s led junior teams and he’s led quite well. Nothing much he can do when you don’t put enough runs on the board,” he concluded.

It is an uphill task for the Daredevils to get into the top four of the IPL table here on and Dravid would want to wave his magic wand to bring the team back in the reckoning.