After Delhi Capitals stumbled to an 88-run loss against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), head coach Ricky Ponting explained the reason behind sending skipper Shreyas Iyer at number six.
SRH showed no mercy as they thrashed Delhi Capitals here at Dubai International Stadium on Tuesday. In the match, the Delhi Capitals chase spluttered and faltered without ever kicking into top gear. Marcus Stoinis and Shimron Hetmyer, who were promoted up the order, failed to leave a mark.
Ponting said with one down in the very first over, the side wanted to match the runs scored by SRH in the powerplay and hence Stonis and Hetmyer were sent ahead of skipper Iyer.
"Chasing 220, with Rahane and Shikhar at the top, we thought if we lost an early wicket, we would have to match them (SRH) in the powerplay and get to 65 or 70," said Ponting in the post-match press conference.
"Stoinis has been in sensational form in the tournament so far, he was dying for an opportunity at the top-order. And as you saw, the second ball he faced, he whacked it over long-on. It didn't come off today but it was all circumstantial because we were chasing such a big total. Hetmyer at four and then Pant at five and Iyer at six. It was a bit of experimentation," he added.
Wriddhiman Saha scored 87 runs for SRH as the side posted a total of more than 200 runs. Ponting said he expected to see Saha in the playing XI but was surprised by his gutsy knock.
"Our fielding has been a bit sloppy in the last couple of games and our batsmen have struggled to find any sort of rhythm. We expected this to happen. We knew that Kane may come back for this game so Bairstow may have to sit out, which meant Saha would have to come back as a wicketkeeper," said Ponting.
"We had a good chat in the morning before the game started on how we wanted to play against Saha, and obviously Kane if he batted at no. 4. Saha played beautifully he actually surprised me," the coach added.
Saha and David Warner played knocks of 87 and 66 respectively as SunRisers Hyderabad smashed 219/2 in the allotted twenty overs.
"We opened today with Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada as how big a wicket David Warner was. We knew Saha can be a dangerous player. I think they were 77 for none at the end of powerplay and they played beautifully," Ponting continued.
"As it has happened quite a few times in the tournament so far, when the teams have got on top of us, we've found it hard to drag it back. Today was a great example of that so we had some work to do on our all-round game," he said.
With this win, SRH has moved to the sixth spot in the points table with 10 points while Delhi Capitals has slipped to the third spot with 14 points.
Delhi Capitals will next lock horns with Mumbai Indians on Saturday.
( With inputs from ANI )
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