Delhi Capitals skipper Shreyas Iyer doesn't consider himself a "gifted player" and has attributed all those big sixes against Kolkata Knight Riders to the enormous "hard and smart work" that he had put in the gym sessions. Iyer hit 88 off 38 balls with six sixes and seven fours in Delhi's 18-run win over KKR in an IPL game here on Saturday.
"I know the hard work and the smart work I have put in through my gym sessions, so I wouldn't say I am a very gifted player," Iyer said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
"It was really necessary for me to take time at the start which I did in the earlier games as well. It was the right time for me to take on the bowlers and then rotate strike as well after that.
"Luckily it worked out for me. We keep talking about close victories and this was one of them. Really satisfied with the way everyone stepped up."
Losing captain Dinesh Karthik rued missing out on a couple of sixes in the middle overs which he felt probably cost them the match. "Maybe in between 10-13 overs we didn't get many boundaries, we lost a couple of wickets as well which sets you back in such run chases. To be honest, couple more sixes and we would have crossed the line," Karthik said.
Delhi seamer Anrich Nortje, who captured three wickets for 33, said they tried to exploit the conditions and focussed on mixing up the deliveries. "We wanted to use the conditions to the best of our ability. There was a little bit of dew. Myself and KG (Kagiso Rabada) tried to get a few to go through. We did it at the start. It got a little bit tough in the end, the ball was coming on nicely," he said.
"It was a bit difficult, proud that the guys pulled it through. We had different plans - try and change it up, not go with the same thing over and over again. Could have gone for a six, but luckily we got him (Morgan) out. Some balls gripped, that one gripped and we got the wicket."
Nortje said he and Rabada feed off each other's ideas. "It's great bowling with him (Rabada), really enjoying the time we spend together. Trying to feed off each other, trying to find out what he thinks, what he does and it's nice to be in the same team with him," he said.
The 26-year-old from South Africa said they worked on their death bowling skills ahead of the match in Sharjah. "We worked on our yorkers, we can still improve a little bit, but we were hitting them in the nets. We tried to touch on all the skills. "We worked on the slower ball, we worked on the good length and then obviously on the yorkers. It was about the skills at the end and just to try and out-skill the opponents."
(Image courtesy: BCCI)