The Delhi Capitals handed the Punjab Kings a 17-run defeat on Monday night at the DY Patil Stadium in their penultimate game of the Tata IPL league stage.
With this loss, DC have their playoff fate in their own hands, while the Punjab Kings will have to hope that more than one result goes their way to qualify for the knockouts.
Jitesh Sharma’s 44 (34) was a standout performance among the Kings against DC with the bat, and Liam Livingstone’s 3/27 and Arshdeep Singh’s 3/37 doing the talking with the ball.
After the game, Sharma addressed the media, answering questions about the game, his performance and where the team stands now. Here are excerpts from the interview with the middle-order batter.
Asked about Punjab's poor show against spin this season, with lows coming especially against the Delhi Capitals, Sharma opined differently “I don’t find any reason for it to be so. It is just the way we played. That’s it,” he said.
Despite a lot of talented players in the team and a strategy that has worked well to help the team bag good wins, Sharma spoke about what went wrong and his assessment of the match against the Delhi Capitals.
“There are a few positives and there are a few negatives. To chase down 160 on this wicket should have ideally been easy, especially given our batting line-up. But, I think we didn’t take as much responsibility,” Sharma clarified.
“If one or two players from our top order could have played a solid knock, we could have turned the game around for sure. Naturally, everybody walks out to do well for their team. It was a bad day for us, that’s all,” the explosive batter said.
The pitch was also helping the spinners, which the Delhi Capitals players took advantage of. When asked about this, Sharma elaborated, “Maybe we could have played better there. One player got out off a very good delivery from a spinner, another one misjudged it.”
He further acknowledged, “Maybe if we took 24 runs in the spinners’ 24 balls and attacked their other bowlers, we could have had a better chance of winning.”
Sharma also elaborated about ace pacer from the team, Kagiso Rabada, bowling only three overs on a night that was a virtual knockout. “It was because of the wicket,” he stated confidently.
“The way it was playing, it looked like Harpreet Brar could make the most of it. Hence we gave him an extra over and Rabada bowled one less over,” the wicketkeeper-batter explained.
“As far as the batting line-up is concerned, we have one that can chase down very high scores. It was just a bad night and a lack of responsibility from most of us,” Sharma admitted.
The team will play its final league stage match on Sunday, May 22, against the Sunrisers Hyderabad at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, as the Tata IPL 2022 enters its last week of the group stage.