The incredible run for a young Delhi side reached its conclusion and captain Shreyas Iyer echoed the thoughts of most fans when he said that it was a dream run for the team.
The youngster did point out some of the weaknesses in the side, but with regard to the big picture, Iyer admitted that he considers it his good fortune to learn from the best at such a young age.
“We didn’t have as many runs as we expected. Had a disappointing start in the Powerplay and we knew that they have good spinners, so it got tough. We thought the wicket would help us as we played a game already over here but none of the batsmen took the responsibility to bat through. There were no partnerships.
“Good learning (curve) for us. (Regarding Kotla surfaces) It’s something to think about. Home games didn’t go that well for us. We can’t complain though. Have practiced a lot for such surfaces but preparing at Delhi on those tracks are risky due to uneven bounce. Can’t blame pitches at the end of the day because we are professional cricketers.
“Looking at the likes of MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma leading their teams and also standing with them at the toss, I have been fortunate to learn things. As captain, I am glad about the support of the owners and the management.
“There is pressure as you have to be involved in a lot of decisions. Totally proud of my team, we did really well to come this far. Been a dream season for us and this is just a start. Time to grow further,” the 24-year-old said.
Winning captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni lauded his team’s effort in all departments as they qualified for yet another final.
The Chennai skipper pointed at some areas of improvements but maintained that he will gladly take this win.
He said – “You’ll go for runs, miss a few catches, but it’s important to come back strong. Th e way we batted to chase down 140+ was really nice. That’s what the 7:30 start does, the groundstaff feel obliged to water it, and it’s a little tacky initially. The bowling effort was brilliant, and we kept it in the right areas, not allowing Delhi to get a big score.
“It’s important to get their openers out – their batting line-up is really strong and they have many left-handers and we have a left-arm spinner to negate them. The ground is a little small, so it is important for them to keep getting wickets. I think the credit needs to go to the spinners, the captain only asks them that I will use you at this point of time.
“Experience counts, but they have to do the hard yards to stay fit for 45-50 days. We are happy we haven’t had many injuries and thanks to the bowling department for that – we are here because of them. I would have preferred the openers to get a few more runs. If the openers had stayed and done the finishing after the hard yards, that would have been better, but I’m happy to take the win any way.”
Man-of-the-match Faf du Plessis was aware that the last few games were not particularly encouraging for him and his team.
The South African is already ready to take on Mumbai Indians, relieved due to the fact that they managed to recover after a tough run.
“We spoke about it before the game – didn’t have the best run in the last 5-6 games. We have a lot of confidence as a team to win a lot of big games – so we draw confidence from that. From the previous games, the guys were playing some great shots up front. But it wasn’t the same kind of wicket.
“We also know the strength of ours is getting those partnerships – even if we go 3-4 overs without runs, we have a great lower and middle order to bring us back. Watto thanked me already (laughs) for scoring quickly at the beginning before he got set.
“Hopefully we can both get them off the meat in the final right from the word go. I reckon we almost ran three there – it was terrible running, and that’s not the kind of start you want in a run-chase of a knockout. Thankfully we recovered from that and did pretty well,” he said.
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