Dubai, November 7
Delhi Capitals all-rounder Marcus Stoinis on Saturday said playing "fearless cricket" could see them emerge victorious against a resurgent Sunrisers Hyderabad in the second qualifier and continue their march towards a maiden IPL title.
Even though his team's form has dipped lately, Stoinis reckoned that fearless cricket would benefit them against SRH here on Sunday.
"I think we're going well. We've got to play some fearless cricket, and it's a great opportunity for us. In these long tournaments, there's a good chance most teams are going to go through those ebbs and flows," said Stoinis.
"...But if you gave me this opportunity at the start of the season – that we'd finish second, and we've got one game to win to get into the final – I think everyone here would take that."
Having suffered a 57-run loss against the Mumbai Indians in Qualifier 1, Delhi Capitals will look to bounce back and make the most of their second opportunity to qualify for the final.
Even though the Delhi Capitals go into the match having lost both their league encounters against SRH, Stoinis is confident of a positive result.
"They're a dangerous team, but I think if we play some good cricket then we're good enough to win," said the 31-year-old.
Asked to sum up the SRH challenge, he said, "They have been in good form this season. They've finished the season really well, raced into the playoffs, and they won last night obviously.
"They're a strong team, and have got some really good batters, some in-form players, some dangerous bowlers as well, so it's going to be a good game."
The Australian picked leg-spinner Rashid Khan, skipper David Warner and the seasoned Kane Williamson as the key players in the opposition ranks.
"I think Rashid Khan is obviously a great bowler – everyone knows that. He's going to be dangerous and important for them. You've got David Warner and then Kane Williamson, who has been really organised and has steadied the ship for them a few times."
Stoinis acknowledged that conditions in the UAE kept changing, but believed his team had the ability to adapt.
"Yeah, it's been a little bit hard to tell – I mean some nights there's been dew, some nights there's been a lot less – which has affected whether it's a lot easier to chase or bat first.
"But I guess the main thing is that we adapt when we get there, and I assume the (Abu Dhabi) wicket is going to be a lot central so both boundaries will be equally big.
"So it will be about being smart – certainly as a bowling unit and as individual batters. But we'll be able to adapt to whatever is out there," he said.
With 314 runs and nine wickets to his name, Stoinis is having one of his best IPL seasons, but the all-rounder said the team's victories meant more than his individual performance.
"It's always nice to make runs, but it's always better for the team when you win. So hopefully I'll be doing everything that I can and prepare as well as I can tonight and tomorrow morning, but at the end of the day just hopefully we get that win."
Quizzed as to what motivates his team, Stoinis replied, "The thought of some silverware, and a trophy for the Delhi Capitals' franchise is all the motivation we need.
"This is what every professional cricketer plays for – to win big competitions like the IPL. So motivation is always there," he said. PTI
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