David Warner, the Delhi Daredevils captain for their game against Royal Challengers Bangalore in New Delhi on Friday (May 10), said the absence of two set batsmen towards the end of the innings cost his team dear during their Pepsi IPL match which Bangalore won by four runs.
Chasing Bangalore's 183 for 4, Delhi made a brave fist of it before eventually settling for 179 for 7. "We were fast losing wickets and obviously there were two crucial overs there in the middle when we only scored 10 runs and we lost two wickets straight after that," said Warner, alluding to the fact that it was only fireworks from Irfan Pathan and Morne Morkel that brought his team close. "It comes down to keeping wickets in hand and having two batsmen set. Obviously, that's what RCB had and they ended up getting 70 runs off the last three overs. But they had two incredible players (Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers)."
One of the reasons why Delhi ended up having to chase 184 was because they leaked 77 runs in the last four overs, with Umesh Yadav going for 41 in the 18th and 20th overs combined on his way to figures of none for 65 from his four overs. "Obviously, those last two overs probably weren't his best of this IPL but you go back when we played RCB in Bangalore and he bowled fantastically well," Warner pointed out. "That's cricket, at the end of the day. It's a fickle game, we know that. I backed him to execute his skills and obviously it didn't pay off. But there were ten other players out there tonight that could obviously have changed the game and made a difference as well. But we showed that fighting spirit and, at the end there, we came pretty close."
Pathan, who bowled four tidy overs for figures of 1 for 24, kept Delhi in the hunt with an unbeaten 11-ball 23 inclusive of two fours and two sixes. "He was probably a bit down in confidence in the first couple of games in this IPL but we know how devastating he can be when he comes off," Warner said. "When he swings through that arc, he is a fantastic player and he is great to watch. It's good to have him come in at that crucial position where we need someone to clear the fences and we know he can do it."
Warner said he would return to the top of the order for the next game in Chennai, when Mahela Jayawardena, the regular skipper, will not be available. "The reason behind (shouldering the captaincy though Jayawardene was in the XI on Friday) was that Mahela can't obviously go to Chennai because of the IPL rules and we thought of giving me a bit of experience instead of throwing me into the deep end and captaining for just one game," Warner explained. "With Mahela not travelling with us to Chennai, it's another opportunity for one of the international players to step up and I think I will be going back up the order as well, so hopefully I can put some fire in the top of our order again."
On his move down to No. 4 in the last few games, Warner said, "It's a choice I made to speak up and ask to bat in the middle because I thought I had a lot more to offer in the middle with some firepower there and try and stabilise the innings through the middle period. It did come off for a couple of games but this is cricket. At the end of the day, we are humans, we make mistakes. We don't choose to get out."
Delhi also created chances but failed to make the most of them, Virat Kohli being caught behind off a Morne Morkel no-ball without scoring and then being put down early in his innings by Virender Sehwag at midwicket off Siddharth Kaul. "The first ball Morne bowled to him, he nicked it, it was a no-ball. Viru then put down a tough chance but that's this game," Warner said of the missed chances, which Kohli punished with a sparkling 99. "That's T20 cricket, anything can happen like that. We have seen it throughout this IPL, a lot of people getting chances and going on with it. That's what you have got to do."