Shreyas Iyer: We play as underdogs

The Delhi Capitals captain hopes his team can win two out of the remaining three contests ahead of the Playoffs.

Shreyas Iyer with head coach Ricky Ponting during Delhi Capitals' training session.   -  PTI Photo

Delhi Capitals is one win away from sealing a spot in the Playoffs, but captain Shreyas Iyer hopes his team can win two out of the remaining three contests in the group stage.

According to him, that is the benchmark it will have to set for itself.

“The job is only half-done so far. We need to win one more out of three. But our aim would be to win two out of three; that would be the benchmark we’ll have to set for ourselves. And I believe right now the team morale and the gelling has been incredible, and players [are taking] responsibility to win the matches. Currently we’re very positive on things, and hoping for a victory tomorrow,” Shreyas said here on Saturday ahead of his team’s contest against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

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Despite the gulf — in terms of success enjoyed in the group stage — between Capitals and the beleaguered Royal Challengers, which is one win away from crashing out, Shreyas considers his side to be the underdog.

“We’ve been in that situation as well before. So we know how the mindset of the players would be. It would be a do-or-die game for [Royal Challengers]. For us, every game is a do-or-die game. We play as underdogs and [in] the last two years, no one expected us to come so far. Ricky [Ponting, the head coach,] always says we’re going to go down there as underdogs, because that gets the best out of everyone. We believe in each other; we’re enjoying each others’ success; [and] we’re keeping things simple. So, all these small things are working out well,” Shreyas said.

Capitals has struggled at the Ferozeshah Kotla — it has three losses out of five games. But Shreyas expressed confidence in his team’s ability to play well here. “I think we’re getting an advantage (with the 4pm start) because we get to practise in the afternoon over here and we’ve been doing that in the night games as well. We are aware of the wicket — how it’s going to play, because we’re outnumbered by other teams on this wicket. But now we have a fair idea about how [it’s] playing,” he said.

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Capitals would be focussed on bringing the best out of itself and not focus unduly on the opposition, Shreyas declared.

“We’re not thinking much about our opposition. [It doesn’t matter] whether they are there or not. We need to be confident on our abilities and our strength is that we are a young team [and] we have a little bit of experience[, too]. We know our strengths and weaknesses, so we play according to that,” he said.

But he accepted the departure of Moeen Ali from the IPL due to his England commitments would provide Capitals an advantage it would like to capitalise on.