Delhi: Delhi Capitals are at the cusps of reaching the play-offs after six long years and captain Shreyas Iyer feels the reason for the success lies in the fact that his side starts every game as the underdogs.
Delhi Daredevils was rechristened as Delhi Capitals before the start of the IPL this season and the change in name has brought with it a change in fortunes as well. The team is sitting third in the points table with 14 points from 11 games. “No one expected that we would do this well. We play every game as if it’s a do or die situation. We go out as the underdogs in each game and that helps us. Ricky (Ponting) always says that (starting as underdogs) gets the best out of everyone,” Iyer said on the eve of Delhi’s match against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Delhi need just two more points from three games to qualify for the playoffs but the 24-year-old said the team is looking to win at least two of their remaining games. “The job is just half done so far. We need to win one more but our aim is to win two out of the three matches. That is the benchmark we have set for ourselves.”
With the ODI World Cup scheduled to start on May 30 in UK, several international players including those from England and Australia have either left or will be leaving the IPL mid-way owing to national duty. Asked whether RCB power-hitter Moeen Ali’s departure will impact the team, Iyer said Delhi would try and capitalise on the Englishman’s absence.
“Players going away from other teams is an advantage for us. Especially those ones who have been doing well for their side and Moeen Ali is one of them and we will try and utilise the situation to the best of our abilities.” Delhi have been in woeful form at home winning just two of their five matches here but the skipper feels the side now has a fair idea of the pitch.
“It’s an advantage for us because we get to practice in the afternoon and we have been doing that in the night games. We are now aware of the wickets, how it’s going to play we have a fair idea now. In all the coming three games we are playing here, Chennai and then back again and it’s kind of a similar wicket. So it’s a blessing in disguise for us to be going through this condition,” Iyer said.
Meanwhile, RCB all-rounder, Washington Sundar said his side is looking to win all three of their remaining games to keep their playoff hopes afloat. “We thought we will just enjoy each game especially after losing six straight games. We are now looking to win the remaining matches and give ourselves the best chance to qualify,” Sundar said.
RCB will face Delhi after a three-match winning streak. Their bowling unit has finally produced the results which gives the side immense confidence. “We have managed to defend three games on the trot which was very difficult for any team to do. We have bowled really well in the powerplay and that is a good for us.”
Asked about Ali’s departure, Sundar said the team is not concerned as they have several foreign players to take the Englishman’s place. “Ali had a good season and his experience and form will be missed but we have many players to replace him. We’ve got CDG (Colin de Grandhomme) and (Shimron) Heytmer,” said Sundar.