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‘We need to work not to lose wickets in a bunch,’ says Rishabh Pant after DC’s loss to LSG

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Rishabh Pant | BCCI/IPLDelhi Capitals (DC) skipper Rishabh Pant rued his team’s pattern of losing wickets in a cluster and playing dot balls in the middle overs after his side suffered a six-wicket defeat at the hands of Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) on Thursday (April 7).

It was DC’s second successive defeat in the IPL 2022 season after losing to Gujarat Titans one match earlier. Notably, the franchise had opened their campaign with a four-wicket victory against Mumbai Indians (MI).

“As a batting unit, we have to find ways to improve ourselves. In the last two-three matches, we are seeing a pattern, we need to work not to lose wickets in a bunch and play less dot balls in the middle overs. If we work on these going forward in the tournament we can do well,” Pant said at the post-match press conference on Thursday.

“(Mitchell) Marsh was (to be) in the first playing eleven but due to international commitment and he had injury (during training in Pakistan ahead of Australia’s white-ball series there) and he could not come. Obviously, we are missing him.”

Delhi Capitals failed to capitalise after opener Prithvi Shaw (61 off 31 balls) provided them a brisk start, losing three wickets in as many overs for just seven runs to eventually end their innings at 149/3.

“Just like in the first two matches we lost two-three wickets together, in succession in two-three overs and that had put pressure.

“But I and Sarfaraz tried to build a partnership and in the last match Avesh (Khan) and (Jason) Holder bowled really good two-three overs in the end. So we could not get away with 10 extra runs.”

Pant received the flak for giving left-arm spinner Akshar Patel just two overs during LSG’s run-chase, but the DC captain defended his decision.

“Akshar was not given to bowl because there were two left-handed batters playing and in between Quinton de Kock was set batsman who batted till (towards) the last.

“When de Kock was out (in the 16th over) by then it was very late to give the ball to Akshar,” said Pant.

Wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav was brought in to complete the 16th over during LSG’s run chase in place of Proteas pacer Anrich Nortje, who had to be taken off the attack after bowling two waist-high no balls.

Explaining this move Pant said, “Earlier, we had discussion whether to bowl Kuldeep later or finish it off (his quota). We thought since dew was already there, the spinners may not be that effective later in the innings.

“So, we thought instead of keeping Kuldeep for last we thought we would keep fast bowlers for the last. That is why we went with Kuldeep.

“Kuldeep has been working hard since one year, he has been out with injury. He is getting a chance after a long time and we are trying to back him as much as possible.

“We are giving him confidence so that he can continue with his own bowling style. He is trying to capitalise on that and I think he is bowling well.”

Pant stayed unbeaten on 39 off 36 balls with three fours and two sixes. Asked if he found difficult to clear the ropes, the southpaw said, “Some day bowlers are going to have a good day and that was one of those good days. In the first innings, the ball was stopping more because there was no dew and so they (LSG) could capitalise on that and that was why we were 10 runs short in the end.”

(With PTI inputs)

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