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IPL: Iyer return biggest plus for Delhi Capitals’ assistant coach Kaif

The Capitals will play their first match when they take on Sunrisers Hyderabad on September 22

Our Bureau Calcutta Published 16.09.21, 04:24 AM
Mohammed Kaif

Mohammed Kaif File picture

Former Delhi Capitals captain Shreyas Iyer is keen to prove his form and fitness in the UAE leg of the IPL after missing out on the first half of the tournament due to a shoulder injury. The Capitals’ assistant coach Mohammed Kaif said that Iyer’s comeback is the biggest plus for the side.

“There are not many changes to the squad as compared to the first half of the tournament, however the biggest plus for us is that Shreyas Iyer is back in the squad.


“He is a fantastic player and he’s been playing well for us in the last couple of seasons. We are looking forward to seeing him play this season,” Kaif said in a media release.

The Capitals will play their first match when they take on Sunrisers Hyderabad on September 22. The second leg of the T20 league, which was suspended in early May due to a spate of Covid-19 cases in the bio-bubble, is scheduled to resume in the UAE from Sunday.

Kaif reckons the first match will set the tone for the rest of the tournament for table toppers Delhi Capitals. The Capitals have 12 points from eight matches.

“There has been a big break after the first half of the IPL, but we are fortunate that most of the players have been playing international cricket regularly,” Kaif said.

“We have a well balanced side as there are players with international cricket experience and domestic players, who have been putting in good performances. The first match is going to be crucial for us. Our performance in the first match will set the momentum for us,” he said.

Iyer was the Capitals’ captain, but Rishabh Pant had to step in during the first leg in India this year. Despite Iyer recovering in time for the resumption, the franchise has decided to continue with Pant as the skipper.

Kaif said that the roles of some of the players in the team may change because of the shift in venue from India to the UAE. “We played well in India and now we have to carry forward our performance here in the UAE. The roles for some of the players compared to the first half of the IPL may change because the conditions are different here.

“We have to start afresh. We are looking to get used to the conditions here in the next few days and also play a couple of practice matches,” said the 40-year-old.

Khejroliya in

Delhi Capitals on Wednesday inducted left-arm seamer Kulwant Khejroliya in their squad after left-arm orthodox spinner Manimaran Siddharth was ruled out of the tournament due to a quadriceps strain.

Khejroliya, who is already part of the Delhi Capitals team’s bio-bubble as a net bowler, was readily included in the main squad.

Playing domestic cricket for Delhi, Khejroliya has so far taken 17 wickets in 15 T20 matches at an average of 23.29.

The 29-year-old had a below-par IPL debut season for Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL’s 2018 and 2019 seasons, taking three wickets in five IPL matches.

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