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‘A franchise like Delhi Capitals never backs Indian players. That’s my problem’: Robin Uthappa loses cool at DC’s tactic

Robin Uthappa wasn’t too happy with Delhi Capitals’ decision-making after the side opted to field four overseas batters during its IPL 2024 opener

Former India cricketer Robin Uthappa slammed the Delhi Capitals team management for not backing the Indian players of their squad enough. Uthappa’s comments came during DC’s IPL 2024 opener against the Punjab Kings in Mullanpur on Saturday.

Punjab Kings’ Liam Livingstone and Harpreet Brar after winning the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 match vs Delhi Capitals (PTI)

“Why don’t you back the Indian players you have picked? I don’t understand why a franchise like DC doesn’t back Indian players. That’s my problem with DC, they never try out their Indian lads,” Uthappa said on Jio Cinema.

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DC played four overseas batters in their top six, dropped Prithvi Shaw and also did not pick Abishek Porlel in the first XI. David Warner and Mitchell Marsh opened the batting, followed by Shai Hope, who made his IPL debut. But it was young Porel, who came to DC’s rescue coming in as an Impact Player.

The young left-hander scored 32 off 10 balls coming in at No.9 with only 17 balls left in the innings. It was his knock that helped DC to reach 174/9. Uthappa said DC should ideally look to bat someone like Porel in the top four.

“Looking at Porel’s technique, I think he can be a huge success at the top order. But how will you know if you don’t try him out? Why not bat him at No.3 or 4? He came in as an Impact Player at No.9 and almost saved the franchise,” Uthappa said.

The former keeper-batter was also miffed with Axar Patel’s batting position. The all-rounder, who was DC’s second-highest run-scorer last season, was sent at No.7.

“They batted their last year’s second-highest scorer at No.7. When will you use the form of your in-form Indian players?” he asked.

Curran blazed away to a 47-ball 63 and got excellent support from compatriot Liam Livingstone (38 not out off 21 balls), as Punjab completed a chase of 175 with four balls to spare.

Punjab Kings began their chase in earnest and raced to 34 in three overs when Shikhar Dhawan (22 off 16 balls) charged down the wicket only to miss and see his middle stump getting disturbed by Ishant Sharma.

Impact Sub Prabhsimran walked in at number three and Ishant squared him up with one that hit the perfect length and left the batter in two minds. Prabhsimran’s riposte was a boundary through mid-off as the batter showed aggressive intent.

Having struck two fours in three balls, Jonny Bairstow was run out in an unfortunate fashion as Ishant managed to get his fingertips to a Prabhsimran drive before the ball went on to hit the stumps at the non-striker’s end.

Bairstow dived but had backed up too far and couldn’t win the race against the ball.

Prabhsimran (27 off 17 balls) struck Khaleel Ahmed for two successive fours to relieve the pressure but, after having steadied the ship, the batter fell to in-form wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav who snared him with a googly.

Kuldeep also accounted for Jitesh Sharma to leave Punjab in a spot of bother at 100 for four in the 12th over.


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