IPL 2023: Main players need to stand up and make it count for Delhi Capitals, says AB de Villiers

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The performances from Delhi Capitals in the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) make for poor reading. In their two matches against Lucknow Super Giants and Gujarat Titans, the David Warner-led side has ended up on the losing side. Their batting unit hasn’t fired collectively while the bowling attack has lacked penetration.

South Africa batting great AB de Villiers feels that the side hasn’t been able to gel as a unit yet and added that the main players have to step up to put in match-winning performances. “It has been a rocky start and not easy for them. It is never easy when you start with an away game and you lose badly as they did. Especially, when you are fielding as they did in that first game. It is generally a sign of what the vibe in the squad is like.”

“I know Ricky Ponting pretty well; he would have covered all the bases. You cannot look at the coaching staff; they would not have left a stone unturned going into this tournament. They made some good buys in the auction. It is a solid squad; it is possibly a tournament-winning squad,” said de Villiers while responding to a question from IANS during a virtual media roundtable.

In their first game, the Capitals’ sloppy fielding and bowling along with the batting being blown away by Mark Wood’s five-for resulted in a 50-run defeat. On their return to their home ground in New Delhi after four years, their batting huffed and puffed their way to 162, which Gujarat chased down with 11 balls to spare.

“But the IPL is not so simple, you need a very interesting dynamic, people really understanding each other, fantastic team spirit and that shows in the field. We saw some signs in the first game that it was not looking good when they were fielding like that and they were just not gelling. I thought they played better in their home game, but were undone by a fantastic team in Gujarat Titans,” added de Villiers, currently seen as an IPL Expert for JioCinema.

De Villiers, a stalwart for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), still expects the Capitals to bounce back in the competition. “It is no time to panic; they just need to figure out where they are going wrong. They just need better performances basically, it sounds cliche and simple but their main players need to stand up and make it count.”

“I know David Warner pretty well; he leads from the front. He is not going to give up until this tournament is over. So expect a bounce-back from them, as it’s still very early days in the tournament. But they need to up their game.”

De Villiers was also in praise of young batters Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Verma, and B. Sai Sudarshan, whose impressive 62 not out helped Gujarat register a six-wicket victory over the Capitals.

“Yashasvi Jaiswal looks very good and talented. I was in awe when I saw Tilak Varma bat for Mumbai Indians the other day under pressure and needed runs at the Chinnaswamy. He made it look really simple and it seems he has a lot of time while batting.”

“Sai Sudharsan from Gujarat Titans is a very talented player as well. Against Delhi Capitals, he was the glue that held the innings together and allowed someone like David Miller to express himself at the back end.”

“This tells me there’s a lot of maturity in that youngster. Every season, I’m just so surprised and impressed by how these youngsters keep coming through in this tournament, which is very impressive and great to see.”

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