He may not be the captain, but Shikhar Dhawan’s influence as a performer and ‘leader’ within the Delhi Capitals group cannot be overlooked, said Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis, who has also played his part in the journey of the team to the IPL finals. Dhawan, with 603 runs, and Stoinis, with 352 runs and 12 wickets, were the two best performers for the Capitals. They played a big part in the team’s 17-run victory in Qualifier 2 against SunRisers Hyderabad on Sunday. “Shikhar was incredible and made several big hundreds. Even in the games he missed, he timed the ball well. He really led us this year,” Stoinis said at the post-game press conference.
Stoinis himself has benefited from Dhawan’s vast knowledge of adapting to different situations.
“He (Dhawan) is a leader within the team. He brings in a lot of energy and shares a lot of knowledge. He has been very good to me during this campaign. I am really proud of him.
“He has made more than 600 runs this year. Hopefully he has one big hit left in the final,” said Stoinis, who scored an offensive 38 when he first opened the innings on Sunday.
Stoinis has previously started in the Big Bash League, but in the IPL, this was his first attempt after Prithvi Shaw repeatedly failed to hit double digits.
“Ricky (Ponting) had talked to me a few times about the possibilities of opening the batter. It just worked and we thought this was the game to do it. In one of the games I hit number 3 and didn’t get there. off when we were chasing 220, ”he recalled.
He also had a field day with the ball removing Manish Pandey and the dangerous Kane Williamson at the right time in his spell of 3 for 26 in four overs.
“Bowling in this format is always difficult and it’s more about planning and having a good idea before getting started.”
For Stoinis, the basic idea of T20 bowling, more than taking wickets, is containment.
“Just be clear that in T20 you’re not always trying to take wickets, but controlling the run rate and controlling the game puts some pressure.”
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