Our challenge is to maintain winning habit this IPL, says Kaif

by IANS |

Dubai, Oct 20 (IANS) Delhi Capitals are currently placed at the top of the points table in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League. Having registered seven wins in nine matches, the team -- which looks all set for a place in the playoffs -- will look to keep the momentum going when they take on seventh-placed Kings XI Punjab at the Dubai International Stadium on Tuesday evening.

"We are very happy at the moment because in the first game that we chased, we lost against SRH. We couldn't chase their target of about 160, but against CSK it was good, because it was a tough task to chase," said Delhi Capitals' assistant coach Mohammad Kaif.

"We were not chasing well so far in this tournament - we were a defending kind of team. Our bowlers have done well so far, but it was good to see Shikhar - the way he batted, and he had been doing so well in the whole tournament, but was getting 20s, 30s every single game. So it was good to see him also getting his first hundred in the IPL," added Kaif.

Speaking on the importance of having a team which can set-up as well as chase totals, Kaif said, "To win a tournament like IPL, you have to be all-round performers. If you bat first, you have to put runs on the board, which we have been doing in this tournament. But if you bat second, you should be able to chase down the target."

"That's the strength of the team and we want to achieve that kind of target you know, so that when we are put in to bowl first and chase a target, we should be able to do it. We have some experienced players in the squad and have good bench strength - of course we were a bit unlucky with some big injuries. But overall we have a squad to go all the way and so far we have done well," expressed the assistant coach.

Commenting on what approach his team is adopting against each opponent, Kaif said, "We're not looking at the team in front of us and are just approaching the matches as they come. We are aiming to take the two points in every match - be it Punjab or any other team. We just want to maintain that winning habit in this tournament - that's our challenge."

"Coaches speak to the players about this only, that now we have got the momentum, we don't need to break it. That's why when we try to pick and play our best team out of the players who are available," added Kaif.

The aspect of Delhi Capitals' performances this season that has stood out is the fact that almost all the players who have played this season, have performed well, and Kaif said it is down to what his coaching staff has been trying to tell the players.

"That is something we speak about in the meetings or in the nets. Ricky of course is very keen to have that mind-set - he speaks about a player making an impact whenever he gets a chance - he should win the game - and that's what players have done so far," said the 39-year-old.

"All the players have been fantastic for us, and it's actually a great headache for the opponents. They would think how to plan against DC, who have got so many match winners in their squad - to really contain and beat us on the day," added the former Indian player.

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