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IPL 2023: Need to improve collectively as a batting unit to get better results, admits Ajit Agarkar

New Delhi : It is still early days in IPL 2023, but the worries of Delhi Capitals with the bat seem to have no end in sight. On Tuesday, on their return to their home venue, the Arun Jaitley Stadium, after four years, Delhis batting failed to fire collectively as Gujarat Titans bowlers kept them in check to eventually post 162/8.
After suffering their second successive loss of the tournament in a six-wicket defeat to the Titans, Delhi’s assistant coach Ajit Agarkar admitted that the batting unit, which struggled to break the shackles throughout their innings, has to step up collectively for much better results, while solidly defending young batting duo of Prithvi Shaw and Sarfaraz Khan in their struggles against quality fast bowling.
“They (Prithvi and Sarfaraz) have made runs in the past against fast bowling and in general, I don’t think we batted well, so why point out one or two guys? None of our top order really got going in both games. We’ve not had big runs at the top, which some of the other teams have and you can see the difference.”
So there’s no point picking individuals. Collectively, we’ve not been good enough on both nights and we need to improve because you’re playing against some good teams. So much credit to Gujarat but we need to improve collectively as a group as a batting unit to get better results,” Agarkar said in the post-match press conference.
Despite Mohammed Shami giving away 20 runs in his first two overs, especially with 10 of them coming from wides, he was able to disturb David Warner with his away-swinger and cut him in size with an indrifter too.
Once Shami got his length right, he took out Shaw with a short ball, before castling Mitchell Marsh. Warner stayed at the crease for 32 balls, but was unable to give the scoring a much-needed push as Joseph took him and Rilee Rossouw out on consecutive deliveries to serve Delhi a reminder of how they were rattled by pace of Mark Wood in their tournament opener.
“No, he (Warner) got a fifty in the previous game. Collectively I don’t think there’s any different way to approach. He has probably been one of the best players ever in the IPL. So you expect him to get it right. Just as a unit I think we’ve not had a big score in two games now and we’ve got to remember it’s just been two games. We have to get more runs, there’s no running away from that fact,” added Agarkar.
Sarfaraz, on the other hand, struggled to get going and fetch boundaries in his painstaking 34-ball stay. It needed a 36 from Axar Patel to save Delhi from the ignominy of not going past 150 and even 160.
“We’ve got the personnel to do it. It’s not like we don’t have the team to do it. We just need to apply ourselves better and get better performances. You’re talking about two people (Prithvi and Sarfaraz) who got heaps of runs and there’s no doubt that there are different standards when you play domestic cricket and come to the IPL.
But because you’ve got heaps of runs, you have been there before. It’s about adjustment and these guys have done it before. It’s not like they are playing in the IPL for the first time. We’re very confident that we will get it right. So far we haven’t, no doubt about it,” the former India cricketer said.
Apart from Axar’s late 36, debutant Abishek Porel looked good in his 11-ball 20. His pull over square leg for six off Yash Dayal after being hit on the helmet by a Joseph bouncer was eye-catchy, so was his confidence while donning wicket keeping gloves.
“To replace someone like Rishabh Pant will always be difficult but you can’t keep harping on that. You’ve got to try and fix it with the players you’ve got and (Porel was) very impressive with the way approach and that’s for someone so young was not been at this level to show the kind of temperament and when even when he went in, we were in a lot of trouble.”
So that’s a real positive for us and looked very comfortable behind the stumps against someone like Nortje who was quite quick. So real positives for us and you got to keep building on it. Different players will need to put their hand up as we need better performances,” concluded Agarkar.


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