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The similarities in Iyer and Pant's captaincy...

Last updated on: September 27, 2021 18:49 IST
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Delhi Capitals’ bowling coach James Hopes also said that Iyer's return has allowed the franchise to play an ideal line-up.

Shreyas Iyer with Rishabh Pant

IMAGE: Shreyas Iyer with Rishabh Pant. Photograph: BCCI/IPL

The return of senior batsman Shreyas Iyer has allowed Delhi Capitals to field an ideal bowling line-up and reap its benefits since IPL's resumption, bowling coach James Hopes said on Monday.

With Iyer sidelined due to a shoulder injury in the first half of IPL, Delhi went for the specialist overseas batter in Steve Smith, leaving out pacer Anrich Nortje, who was also down with COVID-19 in the initial part of the tournament.


Iyer's presence means Nortje has reunited with his South Africa teammate Kagiso Rabada to form one of the most potent attacks in the IPL. The other pacer is Avesh Khan, with the two spinners being Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin.

"To be honest the two of them bowl 150 kmph an hour, so I'd be disappointed if they weren't attacking and aggressive," Hopes said ahead of the KKR game referring to Rabada and Nortje.

"But having both those guys on the park has really enabled us to do that in the power play. At the start of the tournament, with Shreyas being out we decided to play Steve and I think all along our ideal line-up had Nortje and Rabada in it, but we just couldn't afford to do that at the start of tournament."

Delhi are set to make the play-offs but Hopes said they are not thinking of resting their key bowlers just yet.

Iyer has returned to the side but the team has decided to stick with Rishabh Pant as skipper for the rest of the season. Hopes said very little separates their captaincy style.

"They both plan very well, they're both calm, they don't overreact, or under react to the situation. And the thing I think we've seen in the first two games is that they feed off each other really well when they bat together, their styles complement each other exceptionally well.

"Not much has changed to be honest, like it's just, it's like all systems go, like, a few years ago when we made the move to Shreyas (as captain), it was a long-term plan to get this team into into this position and just because Shreyas is not captain at the moment it doesn't mean that he is not a very senior player in this team.

"Rishabh has captained the team beautifully and we expect him to continue to do so"

Delhi remain the team to beat but Hopes thinks they have not hit peak yet.

"We are getting there but, to be honest, we were still a little bit sloppy in the field, but we give them a little bit of pass on that like it's 42 degrees or whatever it is and it's not, not that easy to run around for an hour and a half.

"We've still got four pool games to go and, and we've got the finals after that, hopefully. So, yet we're getting there but we haven't peaked just yet, but we're starting to show signs that we're on the right track, definitely," he added.

Hopes expects off-spinner Ashwin to have a massive impact in the tournament going forward,

"Ashwin bowled beautifully the other day against Rajasthan. He put a lot of energy on the ball and I expect him to play a big part as this tournament goes forward. He's a world-class bowler and I think he's going to have a big impact as this tournament goes forward."

Talking about players coping with the high temperatures in the UAE, Hopes said, "Good players always thrive in challenging conditions. They know it's hard and we challenge our guys to actually enjoy it and play with a smile on their faces. Yes, it's hot, but we have asked our players to embrace the heat. Great players don't get sidetracked by conditions."


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