After Delhi Daredevils' comprehensive defeat at the hands of Victoria at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Friday, their captain Gautham Gambhir has admitted that a lot will rest on him and Virender Sehwag to steer the team through to the next stage of the Champions Twenty20 League. Delhi managed only 98 for 8 before Victoria coasted home by seven wickets in 17 overs.
Delhi, one of the pre-tournament favourites, are without key foreign players like Daniel Vettori, AB de Villiers, David Warner and Paul Collingwood.
"Obviously, there is responsibility," Gambhir said. "There is huge responsibility on me and Sehwag when experienced players like Vettori, AB de Villiers and Collingwood are not there and we are ready for that."
The newly laid pitch at the Kotla had come in for criticism from Gambhir, who said it was "not an ideal wicket for a Twenty20 game." He said his batsmen didn't plan the innings well based on the conditions.
"We just didn't bat well," he said. "We were looking for a score around 130-140 and in the end we felt 30-40 runs short.
"We always knew there will be low bounce in this wicket but the way we started off, we should have made 130-140 which I feel was a match-winning total in this wicket. We just didn't have any partnership."
He said the Victoria bowlers set a fine example by keeping the hosts to a below-par score. "I must say they outplayed us today. They bowled really well and we found it difficult to score runs," he said. "We thought if we could get some early wickets, we are in the game but that didn't happen. The way [Rob] Quiney batted, he took the game away from us."
Delhi need to win their next match, against Wayamba on Sunday, to stay in the competition.