We face an uphill task: Shipperd

While Delhi struggled for a major part of the tournament, whatever little they achieved was due to Sehwag’s brilliance, and the big-hitting opener’s absence would surely be felt.

“Viru’s absence will be a huge loss for us as he is the holder of Orange cap. He fired in each one of the matches we won. He would be missed both as a captain and a key player,” said Shipperd.

“It is going to be a very tough assignment for us to beat the Super Kings in their home ground. We know that they have got special skills in all three departments of the game. It would be tough for us to raise our game and play best cricket against a side, which is in great form at the moment. They will surely pose a big threat to us,” he added.

The former Aussie player, however, said that James Hopes, who has been appointed captain, was an experienced campaigner.

“James Hopes is the new captain and he is an experienced campaigner. Behind the scenes, we do not have a captain but we have a range of people who have been given leadership opportunities in making sure that we move as a squad. Hopes has got lot of experience. His determination and abilities could help us finish the tournament as well as we can.”

He also said that the team still have plenty of options to choose from. “We have plenty of options. Next three games are very important for us. And we will have to figure out which players can handle the pressure well and accordingly be included in the side,” said Shipperd.

Insisting that first six overs in a match would be crucial, irrespective of whether the Daredevils bat or ball, Shipperd said it was important to lay a strong foundation.

“We must be able to lay a strong foundation, whether it is with the bat or ball in the first six overs. This is an area where we have been lagging, particularly with the bat. We had difficulties with the bat against Mumbai Indians the other day but the team could still manage to register nearly 150 runs.

“We have been a reactive team but we need to be proactive in the next three games,” he said.  As far as bowling department is concerned, the coach said he was happy with his bowlers as a unit. “Our bowling group has held us together and given us opportunities to win matches. We are satisfied with our bowling group.”

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