PBKS vs DC, IPL 2021: For Delhi Capitals’ middle-order batsmen, the opportunities come late when the match is already lost or all but won with consistent performers like Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Stev Smith occupying the top 3 positions. On Sunday, against Punjab Kings, middle-order batsmen like Rishabh Pant and Shimron Hetmyer got few balls to express themselves and expressed themselves freely to win the match by 7 wickets. Hetmyer for his part scored an unbeaten 16 off just 4 balls to finish the job after Shikhar Dhawan and Shaw led the foundation.
Shimron Hetmyer said with fewer opportunities, it is about being consistent. “The learnings would be to be more consistent and trying to keep the positivity. With West Indies, I bat a little bit higher. So, it’s more responsibility there. So, I play fewer shots. But it still helps in that positivity and the belief that any time you can switch,” Shimron Hetmyer said at the post-match press conference on Sunday.
PBKS vs DC, IPL 2021: ‘Ponting has given me the freedom to express myself,’ Hetmyer says
Unlike the West Indies setup, Shimron Hetmyer bats at No 5 for Delhi Capitals and with very little time in most matches, all he has been tasked to do is hit the balls as they come. His strike rate of 204.87 is a testament to that fact. So far, he has hit a 9-ball 14, 25-ball 53 and 4-ball 16. Hetmyer said that it’s the coach Ricky Ponting who has given him the freedom to express himself the way he can and he has taken the opportunity to play freely, taking on bowlers from the word go.
“I have only been here two years. But he has helped in terms of positivity. He has given me the freedom to go out there and express myself in every way possible. He is always there to back you, to keep helping you, pushing you to do your best. That’s one of the things I like about him. He also helped me with my pull shot last year,” Shimron Hetmyer said.
PBKS vs DC, IPL 2021: ‘I am more comfortable in DC setup now,’ says Hetmyer
Last year, Hetmyer played in 12 games and could only score 125 runs at an average of just 23.12 as Shikhar Dhawan’s form meant batsmen like him hardly got the opportunity. But this year, with more knowledge of others, he has been successful in becoming Delhi Capitals’ hitman in the middle.
“This year, I know I have the backing of the team. It’s more about being comfortable. Being in an environment where you know everyone and friends with everyone. It’s just for you to express when you go to bat. You could just be with your teammates. I’m not really thinking about the past seasons. For me, it was just starting off in IPL and I was a bit nervous in the first year. Last year, it was just a matter of doing what you can as the guys up top were doing very well. It’s almost the same this year but I am getting to finish off the games fast,” Shimron Hetmyer said.
PBKS vs DC, IPL 2021: ‘Playing freely has helped the batsmen,’ says Hetmyer
As for Delhi Capitals’ explosive batting this season, Hetmyer said that it is coaches’ backing that has helped every player play freely with a clear mind.
“It happens when you have a clear mind and the coach is backing you with whatever you have to do. We just go, free our minds and play the way we know to play and most times, it has come positively for us. So, we are pretty happy with how it’s going right now,” Shimron Hetmyer said.