Out-of-contention DD may go for big changes for last three games

Delhi Daredevils became the first team to be knocked out of this IPL season, failing to defend 187 runs at home against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday

DD’s Rishabh Pant’s 128 off 63 went in vain as SRH chased down 188 with nine wickets and 7 balls to spare.   -  AP

Delhi Daredevils bowling coach James Hopes was a frustrated man after his team became the first to be knocked out of this Indian Premier League season, failing to defend 187 runs at home against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday.

“To be honest, we lacked penetration with the ball. I told the bowlers to not get too predictable, not get stuck doing one plan. The Sunrisers, the best bowling team in the competition, got caught a little bit in the end with doing just one thing all the time, and Rishabh (Pant) got them on. I am really concerned; we are not taking wickets,” he said.

“When you see a guy getting 128 off 63 balls and the rest of our batters get 59 off 57 balls, it does concern you. If you can do it, the other team can do it as well. So, yes, there was a little concern at the break. Having said that, 188 should have been a competitive score,” Hopes added.

Read: Ton-up Pant stands out among Indians

Pant’s 128 got praise from the opposition as well. “I will give credit to Rishabh. He got runs off even good balls. One batsman got 128, but still we did not allow them to reach 200. I don’t think we bowled badly; he just batted very well,” said SRH pacer Sandeep Sharma.

SRH coach Tom Moody had earlier said wickets during the Power Play were a concern, and Sharma admitted there are areas the team can improve on. “No team or player is perfect. There are a lot of things we can improve upon, like fielding, game awareness and communication. We need to figure out how to limit the damage when a guy like Rishabh is playing the way he did today. We can improve our wicket-taking ability with the new ball,” Sharma said.

While SRH will be looking to keep its momentum going, DD will start planning for the new edition of the Twenty20 tournament.

Ruing the loss of Kagiso Rabada and Chris Morris to injury and Mohammed Shami to personal problems, Hopes indicated the team might opt for large-scale changes for its remaining three matches. “We now need to see the big picture. What does our roster look like for next year, those things will start to be spoken about now. These next three games are a good opportunity to possibly see some of these guys, especially Junior (Dala) and Sandeep (Lamichhane), in action,” he said.

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