IPL 2024: 'Nortje is going to keep getting better', says DC bowling coach Hopes after 12-run loss to RR

After Delhi Capitals (DC) suffered their second consecutive loss in the IPL 2024 through a 12-run defeat to Rajasthan Royals

Jaipur, March 29 (IANS) After Delhi Capitals (DC) suffered their second consecutive loss in the IPL 2024 through a 12-run defeat to Rajasthan Royals (RR) at Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Thursday, bowling coach James Hopes believes tearaway pacer Anrich Nortje will keep getting better in coming matches.

Nortje was playing his first game of IPL 2024 and has recently returned to action following a long layoff due to stress fracture in the back. Though he took out Dhruv Jurel in the match, the South African pacer was at the receiving end of an onslaught from Riyan Parag, who hit him for three fours and two sixes in a 25-run final over as RR made 185/5.

“I won’t say too much bad about the bowlers. They just tried to execute. It was a good first half with the ball but got away from us a little bit in the last five years. It’s the first time that Nortje has been at this level in a while.

“He had a fair time out of the game, but if you look at all the numbers, he is one of the premier death bowlers in the game. We trust that he is going to keep getting better,” said Hopes after the match.

He also felt DC fell apart with the bat after having a good power-play, with David Warner top-scoring via 49 and Tristan Stubbs making a valiant 44 not out. “With the bat, we started really well, we were in front of the game, and then fell away a little bit in the middle. They bowled 10 overs of death bowling pretty much at us, and executed it well.”

With DC still being winless in the competition, Hopes commented on the improvement areas the team needs to make. “We need to tidy up what we do at the end of the game. It’s one game, I don’t even count the first game because we had to take a bowler out to get an extra batter in and then Ishant went down, so I’m not going to judge us too harshly on one game.”

Hopes also called for patience to be shown with returning captain Rishabh Pant, who’s coming back to playing competitive cricket after 14 months of recovering from injuries suffered in a life-threatening car accident in December 2022.

While Pant has looked good in wicketkeeping duties, he’s shown signs of slowly finding his batting rhythm in T20s, seen from his 28 against RR, in what was also his 100th match for the franchise.

“We need to tidy up our middle over batting too. We tend to get stuck a little bit in phases there. We know the fix for that is Rishabh Pant. He has played two games after a long layoff and I think you’re going to see some pretty special things from him in the next few weeks,” concluded Hopes.

Delhi Capitals will be aiming to end their winless run in the competition when they take on Chennai Super Kings at the ACA–VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam, the venue for their first two home games, on Sunday.

–IANS

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