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IPL 2021: 'He has been my go-to man,' Pant reacts to beating Dhoni's CSK in 1st game as captain

IPL 2021: ‘He has been my go-to man,’ Pant reacts to beating Dhoni’s CSK in 1st game as captain
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IPL 2021: ‘He has been my go-to man,’ Pant reacts to beating Dhoni’s CSK in 1st game as captain

Highlights

Rishabh Pant said it a very “special” walking out for the toss with MS Dhoni after clinching his first win as captain in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Saturday.

Rishabh Pant said it a very "special" walking out for the toss with MS Dhoni after clinching his first win as captain in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Saturday.

Delhi Capitals (DC), led by Pant, defeated Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by seven wickets in the second game of the IPL 2021 in Mumbai. DC chased down CSK's target of 189 with seven balls to spare at the Wankhede Stadium. It was also the third highest successful chase against CSK in the IPL after Kings XI Punjab's 216 in 2014 and Kolkata Knight Riders' 191 in 2012.


In a post-match interview, Pant spoke about Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada's absence, while he also praised Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw.

"It always feels good when you get the win in the end. In the middle phase, I was under some pressure. But Avesh and Tom (Curran) did well in the middle to restrict them to 188. It was very special walking out for the toss with MS. He has been my go to man. I have learnt a lot from him.

We were thinking as to what we will do without Nortje and Rabada and I thought we had to do with the options we have. No, there was no effort for the NRR as it is still early stages in the tournament. Prithvi and Shikhar did well for us in the powerplay. They kept it simple and played some good cricketing shots," said Pant after DC's win on Saturday.

Dhawan, who top-scored with 85 off 54 for DC, was named the Player of the Match. He shared a 138-run partnership with Shaw for the opening wicket. Dhawan then put up 29 runs with Pant before he eventually got out to CSK's Shardul Thakur.

"I really enjoyed my batting. Was enjoying the way I was hitting the ball. Prithvi was batting really well. He carried on with his form from Vijay Hazare. It was important to get off to a good start because we were chasing a big total. I have to innovate a few shots and I enjoy taking up challenges. I was playing the ball close to the body. The wicket was a little sticky. I knew my game plan. It is tremendous to watch Prithvi. He played some effortless shots. So good and so happy for him as he didn't have a good IPL last time around. I liked the Moeen Ali catch the most," said Dhawan in a post-match interview.

Shaw, who was recently dropped from the Indian side, revealed that began to work on his game soon after returning from Australia and he even credited Pravin Amre for working with him all this while.

"Everyone contributed and it was a good start (to the season). The wicket was good to bat on in the second innings and we executed quite well. From Australia when I was dropped I was working from there itself, coming back and across early, so I practised before going to Vijay Hazare with Pravin Amre and worked on that. I had a good plan before going into that tournament, so it is working quite well.," said Shaw.

He struck nine fours and three sixes during his excellent knock of 72 off just 38 deliveries on Saturday.

"I don't want to think about it (being dropped from the Indian side) because it was a disappointing moment for me but I have to move on and if something is wrong with my batting or technique, I have to improve and I am working hard on myself," added Shaw.

DC next play on April 15 (Thursday) against Rajasthan Royals in Mumbai. The following day will see CSK lock horns with Punjab Kings at the same venue.

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