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IPL 2024: ‘We could see that he had the x-factor’, says Pravin Amre on McGurk

Lucknow : Delhi Capitals assistant coach Pravin Amre heaped praise on debutant Jake Fraser-McGurk’s scintillating half-century performance that helped DC beat Lucknow Super Giants by six wickets.

McGurk on his IPL debut scored 31 balls half-century and became the third youngest overseas batter to score a half-century in IPL history. He with skipper Rishabh Pant added 77 runs for the third wicket that helped visitor to chase down the target of 168 runs with 11 balls remaining.

“It was a tremendous innings from Jake,” said Amre at the post-match press conference on Friday. “He was batting very well in the nets and we could see that he had the x-factor, he had that ability to strike the sixes. If you see his innings, he got five sixes and his first two scoring shots were sixes. That’s what we want in this format. We were doing well in the last two games but were not crossing the line. That’s why we wanted someone to have an impact on the game and I think he delivered.

“Jake is a top-order batter. We have Warner there and Shai Hope batted well for us in the first match (at No.3) and became injured after that. We knew he would get an opportunity and he got that today and grabbed it with both hands. For any good talent it is important to show that in the middle and there is a lot of difference between doing well in the nets and performing in the match. And I’m very happy that the kind of batting that is required for this format, he showed just that.”

McGurk’s inning ended after scoring 55 off 35 deliveries. Amre also commented on Kuldeep Yadav’s Player of the Match award performance and called him a pure match-winner.

“The way Kuldeep bowled today and delivered a dream ball to Nicholas Pooran…he is a match-winning batter and getting him out was crucial to restrict them to 160 (167). Yes, Badoni scored a 31-ball fifty but that impact from 160 to 190, that margin was reduced (thanks to Kuldeep) and we controlled the game. I also think Axar [Patel’s] role was important, and we were able to have a good period in the middle overs. They had a good powerplay and after that we controlled the game. Credit goes to our spin department,” said Amre.

Kuldeep Yadav missed the Capitals’ last three matches due to an injury, but he was back with a bang. The wrist-spinner picked up Marcus Stoinis (8) on his third ball, a wrong’un sliced tamely towards backward point, and then followed it up by removing Nicholas Pooran, LSG’s in-form batter, for zero with one that ripped back to uproot the off-stump. Not only did Kuldeep put the brakes on the home side’s run surge and quietened the crowd, he also completely nobbled the stump.

Rahul was batting beautifully on 39 from 21 when he attempted to cut one going across him and feathered an edge behind off Kuldeep. It wasn’t given out on the field, but Rishabh Pant quickly reviewed it and Rahul departed after scoring 39.

“The season did not start well for me. (But) I was very motivated because I was batting well in the nets. I was just backing myself to play an impactful innings, which happened today. I’m thankful to KL Rahul and Justin Langer for backing me and giving me a chance,” said Badoni. “When I went out to bat I was thinking of taking it to the end and then attack. If we play 20 overs then 150-plus was a possibility. Eventually we made 160-plus…(but) we were 20 runs short.”

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