After losing the toss, Delhi’s batsmen fell flat on a bowling friendly wicket and lost all ten wickets for a paltry score of 67. Their strong bowling line-up had nothing to work with and Delhi lost the match by 10 wickets.
This was their fifth consecutive defeat of this season while Punjab claimed their fourth victory of the season, strengthening their bid for a play-off spot.
The evening was full of blunders for Delhi Daredevils and we look at the five reasons that led to their disastrous defeat today.
#1 Poor application from the batsmen
Maxwell had no hesitation to bowl first on this Mohali wicket as it was evident that the pitch would assist the bowlers. The new ball swung while the odd delivery also stopped on the pitch.
To survive in such conditions, the batsmen had to trust their technique and tighten their defence. Instead, the batting line up of Delhi offered a perfect demonstration of how not to bat on such a wicket.
Sam Billings made the mistake of playing away from his body early in the innings and was out caught behind to a ball that moved slightly. Next was Sanju Samson who tried to play across the line.
On the fifth ball of the third over, Sandeep Sharma pitched the delivery on middle stump and moved it away from the batsman. But Samson had already committed to the shot and all he managed to get was an edge which Mohit Sharma caught at mid-off.
In the fifth over, Shreyas Iyer couldn’t control his urge to drive at a full pitched delivery. The ball, after pitching, got stuck in the pitch forcing Iyer to mistime his stroke. Sandeep Sharma took a sharp catch in his own follow through to end Iyer’s misery.
Then Karun Nair and Rishabh Pant failed to get bat on ball and lost their wickets to spin. The rest of the batting order joined the bandwagon and perished due to poor stroke making.
#2 Faulty batting order
In T20s, generally, the top three batsman score most of the runs and hence teams have their three best batsmen at the top. Delhi throughout the season have struggled to get their top order right. Karun Nair is having a poor season and hence Delhi could have pushed Rishabh Pant to No. 3. The young left-handed batsman is naturally aggressive and in good touch. By sending him to 3, Delhi could have pumped some life into their toothless top order.
After losing two quick wickets, it wouldn’t have been a bad idea for Delhi to send a hitter to counter attack. Rabada or Morris were ideal for this. Their quick runs might have changed the course of the game and even if they failed, it wouldn’t have affected Delhi too much.
#3 Not playing their entire 20 overs
The fewer resources you use, lesser is the chance to win the match. Delhi failed to play their all 20 overs and it was one of the prime reasons for their low score. They failed to bat 17 balls from their allotted 120 in the innings which is a huge number in T20.
Daredevils boast of a strong and deep batting line up and to score a decent total, they needed their top order to play the most number of deliveries. But no batsman from the top five survived more than 15 balls and in their entire innings, only two batsmen managed to play more than 20 balls.
#4 Not attacking part-time spin of Maxwell
After the pacers picked early wickets, Glenn Maxwell brought himself into the bowling attack to sneak in a few quiet overs. For the batsmen of the calibre of Pant and Anderson, it was the ideal opportunity to counter-attack and get some quick runs. As Maxwell was a part-timer, he was Delhi’s best bet to recapture some of the momentum.
But Pant approached the Punjab captain’s bowling with a defensive mindset which resulted in his wicket. Anderson too failed to capitalise on the opportunity and the Delhi batsmen were happy to play out the off-spinner.
Thus, Maxwell finished his four overs by conceding only 12 runs and in fact added to the misery of Delhi.
#5 Making Nair the captain
Generally, the skipper is the best performer from the team or someone who has experience of handling players and adopting various strategies. Karun Nair is actually one of the poorest performers in this year’s IPL. He averages 12.70 in this season and has only one score of 30 plus.
Nair also doesn’t have any prior experience of leading a T20 side and hence Delhi’s decision to appoint him as the captain was surprising.
With such poor batting form, Delhi should have in fact dropped Nair to accommodate another batsman. Giving Nair the captaincy was one of the biggest mistakes committed by Delhi today.