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Battle for consistency!

Updated on: 17 April,2024 08:10 AM IST  |  Ahmedabad
Sunil K Vaidya |

Placed sixth and ninth respectively, Gujarat and Delhi will fight to carry momentum as both teams turn up after winning their previous fixtures

Battle for consistency!

Delhi Capitals opener Prithvi Shaw during a practice session in Ahmedabad on Monday. Pic/Delhi Capitals

With the intensely contested IPL reaching the half-way mark, Rajasthan Royals seem to be in the driver’s seat, with most of the rest playing the catch-up game.

In the second half of the 14-team league, the Delhi Capitals will have the advantage of playing more home games as they have not played in Delhi. “We haven’t played a single home game,” Delhi coach Ricky Ponting said, replying to a question by mid-day on Tuesday.

“We took the opportunity to move away from Kotla after the WPL to give the wicket a bit of a break there,” he explaining DC’s reason not to play in Delhi in the first half of the league.

Ricky PontingRicky Ponting

Ponting wants more

“The overall message from me to the players in the last six games is that [no matter] how close we have been, we could easily be sitting here with five wins and a loss. So, we understand how close we are and how close the tournament is, but you can’t afford to be close, you can’t afford to be [only] good, you got to be very good,” he said, when asked how he sees the second half of the league with his team in ninth place.

Also Read: ‘Nowhere to hide’

Gujarat’s key spinners will have a tough task against Delhi’s three aggressive southpaws in the top five and one in the lower middle-order. Ponting agreed that they have that advantage but reckoned that the Titans could use off-spinner Jayant Yadav as an impact player to counter left-handers with away-going deliveries.
Gujarat’s trump card leg-spinner Rashid Khan is not on top of his game, and he prefers to bowl outside the Powerplay, which could put him under pressure against the likes of Rishabh Pant, David Warner, Axar Patel and Abishek Porel.

Warner doubtful

Warner, however, is doubtful after an injury to his left hand in the match against the Lucknow Super Giants. The left-handed Australian opener has not trained since coming to Ahmedabad.

Ponting revealed that although the X-ray was all clear, Warner still had some swelling around the knuckle of his left hand. “He hasn’t been able to hold the bat properly. 

“We will give him a fitness test tomorrow morning, but he is a character that whatever the pain, I won’t be surprised if he is ready to go,” he remarked, leaving the final decision for the morning of the match.

Hosts Titans will be looking to take their point tally to eight to stay close to the top five group at the end of their first half campaign.

Both teams will need to be more consistent in the second half to keep their hopes of qualifying for the playoffs.

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