Delhi Capitals all-rounder Lalit Yadav, who has impressed everyone with his power-hitting abilities and fielding, is confident that the Rishabh Pant-led team can make it to the playoffs.
Delhi Capitals entered their maiden final in the 2020 season, but lost the title clash by 5 wickets against Mumbai Indians.
TimesofIndia.com caught up with Lalit Yadav, who has scored 137 runs in 9 matches so far this season, at a strike-rate of 109.60, to talk about DC’s chances of finishing in the last four, Rishabh Pant‘s on-field role as skipper from behind the stumps, his improved fielding standards and much more.
What has your experience with the Delhi Capitals been like so far?
Rishabh (Pant) motivates me a lot. If your coach and captain show trust in you and your abilities, it helps you to grow. The player becomes more confident. Rishabh and Ricky Ponting back me a lot. Rishabh says ‘you have to do well, just don’t think too much’. Rishabh and Ponting inject a lot of confidence into the team.
The team is struggling currently, but is there a belief that Delhi Capitals can still reach the playoffs and win their first title this time?
I am confident DC will make it to the playoffs. We have some matches left to play. We have been inconsistent. We have won matches and also ended up being on the losing side. We have lost close-fought games too. We always say that the team which plays 40 overs perfectly, wins the match. We are focussing on the upcoming games. We don’t want to become casual in any department. We will give our hundred percent.
Have there been any such instances where Rishabh Pant’s instructions from behind the stumps have helped you take a wicket?
Last year, I dismissed Eoin Morgan and Sunil Narine in the same over. I was not comfortable with the way Pant had set the field. He walked up to me and said ‘tu bass ball daal, zyaada se zyaada chauka lagega na’. He had set the field for me and gave me the plan. I bowled the way he told me to and I got the wicket of Morgan. He asked me to block his reverse sweep. Morgan hit me over covers and ended up giving a catch to a fielder. I didn’t plan that wicket. It was planned by Rishabh.
Are Delhi Capitals heavily dependent on Prithvi Shaw and David Warner, you think?
I won’t say DC are heavily dependent on them. Davy (David Warner) and Prithvi (Shaw) are game changers. If it is their day, they play the role of game changers. It’s not like the team is totally dependent on them. In T20s, you need a good start. If you get a good start then any target is achievable. If our openers manage to lay a solid foundation, we score big. They form the base for us. The base or foundation is very important in a match.
What has Shane Watson brought in as assistant coach? What tips has he given you?
If you talk about the mental aspect of the game, talking to a big legend of the game, he shares his experience, and what he used to think while playing. He told me how to support myself mentally and balance things during the bad days. I have learnt a lot from him.
What work did you put on to improve your fielding standards?
I have worked on my fielding a lot. Last year, Kaif sir (Md. Kaif) was there and I had many interactions with him. I learned a lot. We have overseas players too. Watching them, how they train, how they go about their fielding drills – that helps. Fielding is an attitude. I want to be good in that department. A good catch and a good run-out can change the course of the game. I want to contribute in every department for my team. I have done a lot of weight training and lost some weight also.