Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting conceded that chasing is an area of concern for his team and it needs to hit the "reset" button to seal an IPL play-off spot in the remaining two league games after enduring a third straight loss. After a flying start, the Capitals suffered a hat-trick of losses -- two of them while chasing -- to slip to the third spot in IPL standings. The most recent of those defeats was on Tuesday when the side lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad.
"It's been a concern. When we decide to bowl first, we've given away big totals. We have to get better at that, we need to be better at bowling first and at chasing totals because so far, it hasn't worked for us," said Ponting during the post-match press conference.
DC now will have to dish out superlative performances against table-toppers Mumbai Indians and second-placed Royal Challengers Bangalore in their last two games to seal their play-off spots. "We had a rough idea from the start of the game on how many points one might need to qualify. We got to seven wins quite quickly, and now lost three in a row. We have to reset right now," Ponting said.
"We play MI next and RCB in the last match and if we keep playing the way we are, we will find it hard to win those games. So we have to change things and change them quickly," said Ponting.
On Tuesday, Delhi Capitals suffered a 88-run defeat, their third loss while chasing a total this season. Ponting said his team has failed to bounce back whenever it has conceded an advantage to the opponents. "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," Ponting said.
"We've got some work to do on our all-round game. Out-fielding has been a bit sloppy and our batsmen have struggled to find any sort of rhythm."
Chasing a mammoth 220 to win, DC had promoted Marcus Stoinis and Shimron Hetmyer up the order ahead of skipper Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant.
Ponting said the idea was to match SRH's score of 77 in the powerplay. "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," the former Australian captain said.
"Stoinis has been in sensational form so far, he was dying for an opportunity at the top-order. It didn't come off today but it was all circumstantial because we were chasing such a big total. It was a bit of experimentation."
Wriddhiman Saha blasted a 45-ball 87 at the top after he was included in the playing XI in place of Jonny Bairstow, and Ponting said he was "surprised" by the "super knock" by the wicket-keeper batsman. "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 WK. We had a good chat in the morning on how we wanted to play against Saha, and obviously Kane if he batted at no.4," Ponting said.
"Saha played beautifully today. He actually surprised me a little bit. I know he is a dangerous player but to come back after a long time and playing like he did was a super knock. It was the difference in the game."