Shreyas Iyer: 'Smiles back on our faces after the four consecutive losses'

Delhi Capitals' captain says his team can deal with the challenge of Mumbai Indians as they are a "fearless and amazing bunch of boys"

Hemant Brar
Hemant Brar
Shreyas Iyer sets himself up to punish a short ball, Delhi Capitals vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2020, Abu Dhabi, November 2, 2020

Shreyas Iyer sets himself up to punish a short ball  •  BCCI

A relieved Shreyas Iyer says that the win against the Royal Challengers Bangalore has put the "smile back on the faces" of his team and given them a much-needed lift after a wobble in their campaign. But now that a top-two spot is secured, the focus shifts to taking on an in-form Mumbai Indians, for direct passage to the final. The Mumbai Indians had beaten the Capitals in both league-stage games, but Iyer thinks his team will be up to the challenge as they are a "fearless and amazing bunch of boys".
Despite winning seven out of their first nine games of the season, the Daredevils were yet to book a playoff spot coming into their last league game. A six-wicket win over the Royal Challengers finally sealed the deal.
"This win was very essential and it has put smiles on our faces after the four consecutive losses," Iyer said at the post-match press conference. "Today the way we played, it was a comprehensive win. I think all the departments were covered up really well by the players and I am really chuffed by their performance, the way they came up and delivered at the right time. The second place obviously makes you feel good after the season you had, with all the ups and downs. The IPL is always a rollercoaster journey.
"The Mumbai Indians are one of the best teams. Having said that, I feel we are also a fearless and amazing bunch of boys. It really depends on the day. Obviously, they are pretty much experienced in such [playoff] stages, but the team that has a good attitude and good composure on that given day is going to make it through. I feel that we need to keep things simple and not complicate in pressure situations. The way we have been going, this was a really good win and it's going to be a really good booster as well for us."
The win was set up by the Capitals' bowlers, who restricted the Royal Challengers to a below-par 152 for 7. Their spinners varied their pace intelligently to keep things quiet in the middle overs and when the Royal Challengers batsmen tried to break free, Anrich Nortje pegged them back by picking up three wickets.
Along with Kagiso Rabada, Nortje has been at the forefront of the Capitals' pace attack, and Iyer was full of praise for the duo.
"It makes my job easy, to be honest, because of the way these guys plan in the team meeting," he said. "They come up with their own ideas and, for me as a captain on the field, it's pretty much easy to set the fields. I just go and ask them what you are going to bowl and they literally mail all of the balls. I am really happy the way the things are going so far and the way Nortje came up and delivered. Really happy for him and the way he performed today."
Another positive for the Capitals was Ajinkya Rahane's performance. Coming in for Shimron Hetmyer, Rahane scored a measured 60 off 46 balls from No. 3 and added 88 for the second wicket with Shikhar Dhawan to take the game away from the Royal Challengers.
"He carries a lot of experience in the IPL and the way he paced his innings, it was amazing to see," Iyer said. "The loose balls he punished, other than that he was taking single and twos. It was a great example and I think he peaked at the right time, just when we needed him. With a few important matches coming up, he will definitely play an important role in them."

Hemant Brar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo