It’s been a difficult and bitterly disappointing season thus far for the Delhi Daredevils and our last game, against the Sunrisers in Hyderabad over the weekend, was particularly painful. No team likes to be bowled out for less than 100 in any form of cricket. The pitch was certainly not easy to bat on, slow in pace and slightly variable in bounce, but we let ourselves down badly. Batting has been our Achilles Heel in IPL6 and all our batsmen, including myself, have to be honest and admit we’ve lacked the necessary consistency to deserve qualification.
It’s frustrating for our bowlers who have tried their hardest to put pressure on our opponents despite low targets. However, we’ve regularly been 15-30 runs short of par totals, and against Sunrisers, we needed to reach around 120 to give ourselves a chance. Sunrisers deserve credit, of course. They were brilliant in exploiting the conditions and bowling to a carefully thought-out plan. All of their bowlers contributed and there was no opportunity for us to escape the pressure with a good momentum-seizing over.
Technically, the defeat means that our hopes for IPL6 have all but evaporated. That though does not mean we now throw in the towel. On the contrary, we have to work even harder to turn things around. We have a responsibility to our fans and I know all the guys are desperate to give something back. We also need to keep one eye on the big picture. We may have missed out this year, but before we know it, IPL7 will be around the corner and we have to make sure that we are a lot better in 2014 than we’ve been this season.
Perhaps we’ve had some cruel luck at times, but there is no point in making excuses. Competitive sport is tough and we’ve made our own mistakes. We have to take responsibility for what has happened, learn the applicable lessons and return stronger and better for the experience. In that regard, I know we are all looking forward to tonight’s game versus Rajasthan Royals. They have had a good run this season, especially at home, but this is an opportunity to play for pride with no fear of failure. Our fans need us to show some fight and we’ll give everything we have.