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Delhi aim to get its combination right for next IPL season

cricket Updated: May 13, 2011 12:59 IST

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Out of the play-offs race with yet another defeat, Delhi Daredevils' stand-in skipper James Hopes said the team will use the remaining games to find a proper combination for the next edition.

Delhi lost by 18 runs to reigning champions Chennai Super Kings while chasing 177 last night, and now have two more matches to play.

"We are trying to put in place a combination for the next year. At the same time, we still want to win games. Tonight (Thursday), we had a chance to win the game.

"In any sport, it takes time to gel. With the World Cup finishing so close to start of the IPL, that perhaps did not help our cause in first few games. We struggled to perform," Hopes said at the post-match press conference.

Hopes, who led the side in the absence of injured Virender Sehwag, said that it was his opposite number Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who batted them out of the contest.

"I think we were on top of the game in the first 15 overs and then Dhoni batted us out in the end. Went through the scores and I thought it will be a good chance but the 18 runs (margin) is a reflection of the game itself," Hopes said.

He termed Ajit Agarkar's 19th over, in which the pacer gave away 20 runs as the "turning point" of the match.

"Till then things were under control. But Dhoni took the game away from us in the 19th over," he concluded.

Asked about the logic of going into match with a single specialist spinner, Hopes defended the move stating,"The bowlers did a good job for us. I did not want to bowl an off-spinner (Nagar) as Dhoni was hitting the bowlers out of the park."