Zaheer Khan’s captaincy debut in the IPL got off to a terrible start as his side was thrashed by the Kolkata Knight Riders. The Daredevils batsmen couldn’t even get to the three-figure mark as the hosts struck frequently and didn’t allow any partnership to flourish. It was Andre Russell at the top for the Knight Riders with the new ball who damaged the Daredevils with three wickets in his first spell.
After Russell, it was time for the veteran Brad Hogg to take over, as the chinaman was simply magical at the Eden Gardens. Hogg picked up three scalps in the middle order to restrict the Daredevils to below 100. The Knight Riders openers got off to a steady start and won the game with 35 balls to spare.
Post the game, Daredevils skipper Zaheer Khan admitted that his side might have lost, but he was still positive for the remaining games. “I really felt the boys showed the intent on the field that was required. That’s how we want to see Delhi Daredevils as a unit, out there fighting hard on the field. Scores are going to come. I have full faith in our batsmen and the preparation. It’s just the beginning of the season, hope good things are going to come. It was a tough day for us and we accept that and move on,” Zaheer said.
The former Indian pacer was generous in crediting the wicket at the Eden Gardens and praised the strip laid out. “As a bowler, I’m happy to see this kind of wicket. You have to give credit where it’s deserved. Sometimes you do get caught up in the T20 format and that’s what happens to bat first. You are always chasing that big number. These things can happen, nothing wrong in that,” said Khan.
Zaheer quickly said that his side would get better as the individuals would learn from their mistakes. “As I said in the post-match presentation, I was trying a bit too much. You learn every day. I was on the field after a long time. Having a low total on the board, as a bowler, you try too much so I was looking for that extra swing for the left-hander which I was not getting. But overall, happy to be out there. “Been a tough day, but I’m very happy and proud of the boys’ intensity and energy. That’s how we’re going to approach the season and that energy is what we’re looking for. It’s a young team and we’re going to create opportunities and are going to have that approach in this format,” he concluded.