Delhi Capitals conceded a heavy 88-run defeat to Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2020 on Tuesday -- registering a third successive loss in the tournament. The DC, who had a chance to go top of the table, squandered another opportunity and may even drop to third position tonight if Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Mumbai Indians.
DC head coach Ricky Ponting was visibly disappointed with his side's efforts, saying that it has been difficult for the players to make a comeback in the game after the opposition gained an early momentum.
IPL 2020: We lost the game in powerplay itself, says DC skipper Shreyas Iyer after losing out to SRH
SRH had scored 77 runs in the opening six overs of the match.
"We opened up with Kagiso and Nortje, identifying how big a wicket David Warner was. We knew that Saha would open the batting. They were 77 for none at the end of the powerplay and they played beautifully. As it has happened quite a few times in the tournament so far, when the teams have got on top of us, we've found it hard to drag it back. Today was a great example of that," Ponting said.
"We've got some work to do on our all-round game. Out fielding has been a bit sloppy and our batsmen have struggled to find any sort of rhythm."
Ponting said that while they expected Bairstow to be benched, Saha's innings 'surprised' him.
"We expected this to happen. We knew that Kane may come back for this game so Bairstow may have to sit out, which meant Saha would have to come back as WK. We had a good chat in the morning on how we wanted to play against Saha, and obviously Kane if he batted at no.4," Ponting said.
"Saha played beautifully today. He actually surprised me a little bit. I know he is a dangerous player but to come back after a long time and playing like he did was a super knock. It was the difference in the game."
The DC management raised a few eyebrows when it decided to hold Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer in the batting order. While Marcus Stoinis batted at number three, Shimron Hetmyer was the no.4 in the game against SRH.
When asked about the reason behind the change, the DC head coach said that they wanted to score as many runs as possible in the powerplay.
"Chasing 220, with Rahane and Shikhar at the top, we thought if we lost an early wicket, we would have to match them (SRH) in the powerplay and get to 65 or 70," Ponting said.
"Stoinis has been in sensational form so far, he was dying for an opportunity at the top-order. It didn't come off today but it was all circumstantial because we were chasing such a big total. It was a bit of experimentation.
Delhi Capitals have lost three of their four games while chasing a target. Ponting admitted that it has been an issue with the side. "It's been a concern. When we decide to bowl first, we've given away big totals. That's not ideal. We have to get better at that, we need to be better at bowling first and at chasing totals because so far, it hasn't worked for us," said the former Australian captain.
Ponting also said that it is time to "reset," adding that DC have two tough games ahead of them to finish the league stage (against MI and RCB).
"We had a rough idea from the start of the game on how many points one might need to qualify. We got to seven wins quite quickly, and now lost three in a row. We have to reset right now.
"We play MI next and RCB in the last match and if we keep playing the way we are, we will find it hard to win those games. So we have to change things and change them quickly," said Ponting.