'Could not close out vital games'

'Could not close out vital games'

As Delhi Daredevils wrapped up another disappointing season, their mentor Rahul Dravid conceded that they didn’t play to their potential and lost a series of matches that hurt their progress in the 10th edition.

Daredevils with six wins and eight defeats finished sixth in the table and failed to qualify for knockouts yet again.

“We are disappointed. We had expectations of qualifying but it did not happen. We had some games in the middle (of the tournament) which were close and we could not win them. You come under pressure when you don’t win close games. There were four-five games where we were in winning positions but couldn’t cross the line. In this tournament you have to win the close games,” Dravid told reporters after Daredevils’ 10-run defeat to RCB on Sunday.  

“We would have played seven-eight close matches, including tonight’s. We won two of them. Maybe if we had won two more of those matches the situation would have been different.

“We did try. Some injuries to players before the start of the tournament did impact the balance of the team. We did not play to our potential. You need at least eight victories to make it. Last year we had seven wins. This year six.” In the absence of their experienced player Quinton De Kock, and JP Duminy, Dravid said they did their best to back the Indian youngsters.

“Our batsmen are all very talented. Probably they are less experienced. In the middle of a big auction you are not going to get big Indian players. Nobody releases experienced Indian players. We honestly took the decision to back the young Indian talent and balance it out with some foreign experienced players. Unfortunately Quinton (de Kock) and JP (Duminy) pulled out due to injury and that suddenly made us look for replacements at the last minute. And it is not easy,” he said.

“We tried to go with a slightly more experienced bowling attack. I think there’s good ability in the group but maybe we didn’t have the luck. But I don’t want to make excuses. We had our opportunities.”

Dravid sees a lot of quality in the top four teams. “Mumbai Indians look they have got a really balanced side. Having said that KKR have shown they have got some dangerous players.

“Rising Pune Supergiant to me are performing really well collectively as a unit. Sunrisers have the quality like David Warner, Shikhar Dhawan, Yuvraj Singh, Rashid Khan. For me the team whose players stand up during the course of the next week will win."

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