Delhi Capitals had their fate in their own hands as they had the opportunity to leapfrog Royal Challengers Bangalore and make it to the playoffs. However, DC lost the match against MI despite dominating most of it.
With Mumbai Indians at 95 for 3 in 14.3 overs while chasing a target of 160, Pant made a strategic blunder as he refused to go for DRS after Tim David nicked the first ball of his innings and the onfield umpire didn’t give him out.
Despite being persuaded by his teammates, especially Sarfaraz Khan, during Shardul Thakur’s over, Pant did not take the DRS. The replays and the Ultra-Edge showed a faint edge that neither Pant nor the on-field umpire spotted.
It came back to haunt DC as David slammed 34 runs off just 11 balls with the help of two boundaries and four sixes to take the game out of DC’s grasp
Eventually, DC lost the match by 5 wickets and crashed out of IPL 2022 as RCB held on to their 4th spot and reached the playoffs.
India and Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma has jumped to the defence of Rishabh Pant after the Delhi Capitals captain faced flak for his tactical blunder during their defeat in the penultimate IPL 2022 league game at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday, May 21.
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) May 21, 2022
Following the match, Rohit Sharma said that in a high-pressure tournament like the IPL, “little fumbles can happen” but backed Pant to come back strongly next season. While backing Pant the Indian skipper said,
“He is a quality captain, there’s no doubt about it. In the past seasons, we have seen how he has led his team. Sometimes things don’t go your way. It is as simple as that.”
Rohit further added,
“I have been through this kind of situation before and I was just telling him about the same thing. These kinds of things happen on the ground, sometimes it just doesn’t go your way. So, there is nothing wrong with it.”
Delhi Capitals had reached the final under Shreyas Iyer’s captaincy in 2022 and the playoffs under Pant’s captaincy last year. However, the IPL title remains elusive to the former finalists.
Rohit said he had a word with Pant after their match
Hitman said he has no doubts that Pant will emerge as a stronger character and skipper next IPL season.
“You can take a lot of learnings from all of this and try and keep things simple. He’s got a great mind, he reads the game well from behind. It’s a high-pressure tournament and those little fumbles can happen. But it is important not to lose confidence and not to start doubting yourself. That is something I spoke to him about. He’s a confident guy, he’ll come back strong next season.”
Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting said he has absolutely no doubt on Pant captaincy
“Absolutely, no doubt in my mind that Rishabh even in the last season he was the right choice for captain. Rishabh did a terrific job with the team after he took over from Shreyas (Iyer) after he injured his shoulders.”
He further added,
“…he is just a young man and still learning captaincy. Being captain of a T20 team, especially in IPL, which is a high-pressure tournament, is not an easy thing to do and unfortunately, every single thing you do will be scrutinised. He certainly got my full backing.”
Delhi Capitals finished in the 5th sport with 14 points, 2 less than 4th-placed RCB.