Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, Shikhar Dhawan, Indian Premier League, IPL 2019, Ricky Ponting
Pant, who has been criticised often for not finishing matches, dished out a clinical performance and remained unbeaten on 78 off just 36 balls. @ BCCI

Rishabh Pant‘s 78 not out off 36 along with valuable contributions by openers Shikhar Dhawan (54) and Prithvi Shaw (42) powered Delhi Capitals to a thrilling six-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals and top the table in the Indian Premier League (IPL 2019) contest at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium on Monday.

Pant, who smashed six boundaries and four sixes, forged a crucial 84-run partnership with Shaw beside anchoring the Delhi innings after two successive blows – of Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer.

Pant, who has been criticised often for not finishing matches, dished out a clinical performance and remained unbeaten on 78 off just 36 balls.

Iyer revealed how coach Ricky Ponting’s advice worked for Pant on the day. “Ricky tells us that batsman who get start should bat for a long time. Rishabh took that initiative and batted till the end. In the previous match, I was there till the end and Shikhar did it too in one match,” he said at the post-match presentation.

Delhi Capitals, who can now confidently say that they have shed their Daredevils tag are looking hot contenders for a spot in the playoffs. Iyer, who has been great with his captaincy so far, was happy the team is clicking as a unit and the positivity’s spreading around.

“When we play away from home, wickets are so good luckily and it is perfect for our batters. I was really happy the way we started. Shikhar is doing a great job in powerplay. We are unaware of how the wicket is going to play at Delhi and we are being outplayed at our home. We are happy with our team is going. The positivity is spreading in the camp,” he said.

“We knew Royals are going to go all-out. Wicket was a belter and the way they started we thought they will score 200. Rahane batted brilliantly. Our bowlers contained well to restrict Royals.”

Meanwhile, Dhawan attributed to his knock to a change in mindset. “Changed my mindset in the previous games and it’s been going good for me. Able to give good starts for my team and I am happy. I would say from the Bangalore game, I changed my mindset. Realised that I needed to play more aggressively,” Dhawan, who was responsible for giving his team a flying start and added 54, explained.

“Just the one game where I needed to take time with early wickets but now I feel that I need to go from the start.”