Being a young team, we played like one – Nair


Delhi Daredevils v Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2017, Delhi May 3, 2017

Delhi Daredevils came into the game against Sunrisers Hyderabad on the back of a five-match losing streak. The scars from their ten-wicket drubbing at the hands of Kings XI Punjab, when they were bowled out for 67, would have been fresh as well. But, like their mentor Rahul Dravid had said after that game, the only direction Daredevils could go was up.

Karun Nair

One way of doing that, according to Daredevils’ stand-in captain Karun Nair, was to play the way a young team would – fearlessly. The approach paid off as all of their top five batsmen – with Corey Anderson the oldest at 26 – made useful contributions to gun down a target of 186 with five balls to spare.

“I think it was a great win,” Nair told “All we talked about is we, being a young team, should play like one. So, we just went out there and played fearlessly.”

Nair, who was leading the team in the absence of the injured Zaheer Khan, had made only 89 runs from seven innings before this game. But his 20-ball 39 – with a little help from Bhuvneshwar Kumar who dropped him on 20 – set the tone for Daredevils’ pursuit.

“It was just the intent and we just wanted to go out there and go after the bowling,” Nair said. “With the four of us being youngsters at the top of the order, [the idea was to] just go out there and smash the ball.”

When Bhuvneshwar dismissed Shreyas Iyer off the last ball of the 16th over, Daredevils still needed 38 runs. However, Anderson blazed away to an unbeaten 24-ball 41 and closed out the match with Chris Morris.

“Having Corey Anderson on the other side smacking the ball off the middle [of the bat] was quite nice,” Morris told “We were confident and were saying that if it’s in your arc and if it was in your area, smack it. And that’s the way we like to play cricket – confidence and smack a cricket ball. So, yeah, I think Corey Anderson [came up with a] masterclass in how to chase that score.”

It was far from a perfect performance, however, as shabby fielding could have cost Daredevils the game. While there were a few misfields, the costliest error came from Sanju Samson, who dropped Yuvraj Singh on 29. Yuvraj went on to smash 70 not out off 41 balls, as Sunrisers ransacked 59 runs in the last four overs. Legspinner Amit Mishra had no illusions about the fact that Daredevils needed to improve further.

“We clicked today in batting and bowling. Fielding wasn’t up to the mark but we are doing a lot of things. We have all areas covered, but we have to be positive from here,” Mishra said. “You have very little time to think in this format. Even if you falter in one small aspect, you end up falling way behind. In T20s, especially, you will have to execute everything to perfection.” (ESPNCricinfo)



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