IPL 2024: Porel’s temperament is creditable; result could have been different if dropped catches were taken, says Amre

Mullanpur, March 24 (IANS) In Saturday’s match against Punjab Kings the Maharaja Yadavindra Singh International Cricket Stadium, Delhi Capitals were in a spot of bother at 149/8 in 19 overs and were in danger of ending up at a below-par score on a black soil pitch.

It was an innings where DC’s main batters got set, but none of them could get a big knock and needed a moment of brilliance to set a par score. Their wishes were answered when Abishek Porel was drafted in as an Impact Player in place of Ricky Bhui and the young wicketkeeper-batter smashed 32 not out off just 10 deliveries to take DC to a competitive 174/9.

“Getting him ready for those situations is our job as a support staff. We had seen him in our preparations during the practice camp and games that he was striking well. That’s where we as a coaching unit and captain were keen to have par runs on the field in this match.

“I am very happy for Abishek as having a strike-rate of 300 in a crucial match and also for him, its really good. For me, seeing an Indian batter scoring looks really good and he has many more knocks to come in this tournament because his temperament is creditable,” said Pravin Amre, DC’s assistant coach, after the match.

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Facing Harshal Patel’s repertoire of slower deliveries in the final over, Porel pulled, heaved, slogged, ramped, and flicked to hit three fours and two sixes with utmost ease to give DC’s bowlers something to defend. Porel’s superlative efforts, though, didn’t help DC in getting a winning result.

Him being used as an Impact Player meant DC couldn’t get another bowler in for their defence. They were hamstrung by Ishant Sharma twisting his ankle in last over of power-play, which meant his remaining two overs had to be used up by others.

It didn’t help DC that Marsh conceded 18 runs twice with the ball to be 0/52 in his four overs and all-rounder Sumit Kumar, making his IPL debut, didn’t inspire much confidence in defending six runs in the final over.

Dropped catches also hurt DC as Sam Curran was handed a lifeline at 34 when Tristan Stubbs spilled his catch at long-on off Kuldeep Yadav in the 14th over. Khaleel Ahmed, who had an ineffective day, could have got his third wicket of the 19th over if Harpreet Brar wasn’t dropped at long-on by David Warner.

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“The intent in the first few overs was very good, getting 54 runs in power-play and reaching 100 in 11.2 overs was really good. Those back-to-back wickets in the middle cost us, but we can see the positive about Abishek Porel. But overall, we recovered and came back to score 174 after losing out on wickets, which was a big plus.

“Tactics wise, it was a good decision to send out Abishek Porel because ultimately you want runs on the board. But we became a bowler short, as Ishant’s injury also cost us. When you lose your main bowler, it becomes difficult to contain them, but credit goes to Sam Curran and Liam Livingstone – they are the pros. We don’t know if things could have been different had Sam’s catch been taken,” observed Amre.

DC packed themselves with four overseas batters in David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Shai Hope (making his IPL debut and preferred over Jake Fraser-McGurk due to his international experience), and Tristan Stubbs, which meant there was no room for opener Prithvi Shaw.

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Amre put it down to tearaway pacer Anrich Nortje not being available for Saturday’s game and informed he would be joining the team in Jaipur for their next game against Rajasthan Royals. He also revealed Ishant’s ankle injury didn’t look nice, but they are now awaiting the medical team’s assessment post a scan.

“Nortje is one of our main bowlers and he’s not there right now. So we decided to go with this bowling combination and back our all-Indian bowling unit, while back the foreigners with the bat.

“Mitchell Marsh had done well for Australia as an opener and we wanted to give that slot to him. But Shaw will come into consideration for future matches and he’s definitely in the scheme. If Nortje comes back, who knows it will be a different combination.

“When I came, he (Ishant) was icing. It didn’t look nice on TV, but we will give time to our medical team, who will do a scan and we will get to know after the scan only. Nortje is joining us in Jaipur,” he concluded.

–IANS

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