Despite being the table toppers in the league stages of IPL 2021, Delhi Capitals have been knocked out of the tournament after they lost both the qualifiers against CSK and KKR respectively. Rishabh Pant's side, who were undoubtedly one of the most impressive teams this season, succumbed under pressure and failed to capitalize on their opportunities as they missed out on a golden chance to lift their maiden IPL title.
Reacting to Delhi Capitals' campaign this season, former Indian cricketer Wasim Jaffer admitted that their bowling was a revelation. However, he went on to add that the decision to not hand the final over to Kagiso Rabada during Qualifier 1 clash against CSK turned out to be the deciding factor for them in UAE.
Check out Jaffer's tweet:
What had happened during DC vs CSK match?
After posting a competitive total of 172/5 in 20 overs, Delhi Capitals were the favourites to become the first team to enter the finals of IPL 2021. However, the CSK top-order batted brilliantly to put themselves in a commanding position to hunt down the target. This is when Tom Curran bowled an outstanding spell, inflicting a mini-collapse.
As it happened, the match had once again titled in favour of Delhi Capitals with CSK needing 13 runs in the final over. DC skipper Rishabh Pant had two bowling options at that time in form of in-form Tom Curran (3-0-16-2) and experienced Kagiso Rabada (3-0-23-0).
The 24-year-old went with Tom Curran instead, a move that backfired as MSD smashed three boundaries to win the match for CSK. In the post-match conference, Rishabh Pant explained the reasoning behind his decision as he said, "I thought that the bowler (Tom Curran) who is having a great day, it's better to use him for the final over."
Rabada proved his worth in Qualifier 2
While Rishabh Pant was criticized for not using an experienced campaigner like Kagiso Rabada in that crunch situation, the fast-bowler himself gave a practical demonstration of what he could have done had he been handed the ball against CSK.
In the match against KKR, Rabada registered figures of 4-0-23-2. In the 18th over, he conceded only 1 run while taking the crucial wicket of Dinesh Karthik to get Delhi Capitals back into the contest against all odds.
Although DC eventually lost the contest since it was quite an improbable situation for them to turn around, things might have been slightly different if Rabada had bowled the final over against CSK. However, there is no place for 'ifs' and 'buts' in cricket and the sad reality for DC is that their dream of lifting the trophy is over for now.