Ishant and Warner provide much-needed relief for Delhi Capitals
At different stages of their careers, Ishant Sharma and David Warner are prolific international stars.
As a veteran of 105 Tests, Ishant is no longer a regular for India at the age of 34 but believes he has more mileage left in the tank. Warner is faced with plenty of questions about his Test future as he strives to resurrect Delhi Capitals this season.
Ishant made a significant impact almost immediately after his captain chose to bowl on a Delhi pitch that Warner said had become "sticky" due to rain.
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Ishant has only played five or more games in a season twice since the beginning of 2014, six wicketless games in the IPL in 2017, and 13 matches in 2019 where he took 13 wickets. During his one domestic appearance for Delhi last December, when he hobbled off holding his side, a comeback seemed unlikely.
In this year's auction, he wasn't in high demand either, and the Capitals purchased him at his base price towards the end. As a result of Khaleel Ahmed's injury, Capitals had to strengthen their batting with another overseas player, so they selected Ishant to face Kolkata Knight Riders.
The figures of 4-0-19-2 indicate a job well done. With fingers perfectly behind the seam and wrists snapping at release, Ishant looked in fine rhythm, getting deliveries to rear up awkwardly.
Despite thinking Ishant's length was short enough to pull, Nitish Rana's bat turned and lobbed a catch to mid-on after the skid off the pitch. When Ishant bowled his fourth and final over in the 12th over of the innings, Sunil Narine was caught off a short ball at deep midwicket. After his spell, Prithvi Shaw became the Impact Player for the Capitals, replacing him.
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"Ishant was going to play the last game, but he was sick with a fever," Warner said afterward. "After the first game here [against Gujarat Titans] when the ball swung and seamed, he was in contention to play." Ishant bowled exceptionally well with Khaleel Ahmed out. We should take a serious look at the selection once Khaleel is fit again. Full credit to Ishant for coming out of his sickness and executing his skill."
As soon as Ishant had finished, Warner began, jabbing and punching length deliveries, quickly swiveling back to pull. Perhaps the small target of 128 helped him break free of this season's shackles.
He raced to 45 off 25 balls by the end of the powerplay and brought up his half-century off 33 deliveries. Warner was particularly harsh on Narine, throwing him off his lengths and not letting him settle.
As Warner had already scored 228 runs in five innings this season, it wasn't a return to form, but it was a return to his aggressive style. He showed signs of it during the chase against RCB five nights ago, when he thumped Mohammed Siraj for a hat-trick of fours. Until he toe-ended a pull to mid-on on 19, his belligerence was back, and his innings against KKR on Thursday appeared to be a continuation of that.
Warner said we didn't lose three wickets in a row here. There will be critics out there who suggest that I haven't batted the way I normally do, but what can you do when you lose three wickets in a row in two overs and you face three balls? You have to take responsibility for something.
Bangalore - I got out and I was criticized for getting out, but that's the game. Today, I felt like my matchups were there, and I would take the powerplay on. For us, it's about backing yourself, coming out, and executing your skills.
There were no wickets lost in clumps in the first two overs, and this was a big factor. I felt like I had my rhythm back again. I had a good couple of net sessions. During the first couple of games, I felt a little nervous about losing wickets. As far as I am concerned, playing as I do, as I know, is going to benefit our team."
For Ishant, it's about recovery and getting ready to try and put in another Player of the Match performance against his former team Sunrisers Hyderabad.
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