Delhi Capitals head coach has said that Delhi Capitals cannot afford to step a foot wrong and the defeat against Chennai Super Kings serves as a reminder to them. Delhi Capitals have been unstoppable this season and have done well under the watchful eyes of Ponting and advisor Sourav Ganguly.
JSW and GMR co-owned franchise Delhi Capitals will be playing their last home match of IPL 2019 when they take on Rajasthan Royals at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on Saturday afternoon, and their Head Coach Ricky Ponting says that he is “looking forward to how his team will bounce back” from their loss to CSK.
The Australian legend spoke to the media ahead of his team’s last league encounter, and was asked about how Kagiso Rabada’s unavailability will affect the team. “It was decision that was out of our hands, it was a decision made by Cricket South Africa so we respect that. Kagiso complained of a stiff back after our last match here in Delhi against RCB, so CSA have taken a precautionary measure for the World Cup. It is a big loss for us obviously, but it is something that we believe that we can cover. We have someone like Trent Boult who was our highest wicket-taker last season, and him coming back into the side will be a huge boost for us.”
Trent Boult has gone for 79 runs in the two IPL matches that he has played this season, but Ponting was quick to defend his ace bowler. “He has only played that one game here in Delhi, so it is hard on him if we judge him basis that performance. But saying that, his first two overs the other night against CSK were outstanding where he only conceded two runs. His new ball skills are pretty good, and we are going to work on the death bowling skills in our training session today, and hope that we can hone those skills collectively.”
Asked on how difficult it will be for the Delhi Capitals to bounce back from their CSK loss, Ponting said, “It shouldn’t be difficult at all. We have played some excellent cricket this season, the boys are very aware of what they can do on the field. I spoke to the boys after the loss, and I feel that if you want to lose a match like that, it has come at the right time. It serves as a reminder to us that we cannot take the foot off the pedal, and we need to focus on our basics, and I am sure that we will bounce back pretty strongly tomorrow.”
Ponting also said that the match against RR will be important for both the teams. He said, “We need to win this game to qualify in the top-2, which is our aim. We have a lot to play for, tomorrow, and we know that. We want to release the pressure a little bit, but we understand that every game is very difficult to win. Rajasthan will come into the match knowing that they have nothing to lose, and they also have a great side. So tomorrow will be a really good contest, but our group is very closely knit and I am looking forward to seeing how the boys bounce back.”
Asked about Shreyas’ leadership this season, Ponting said that he trusts the 24-year-old, and credits him for the good form this season. “Our job is to make the players’ job as easy as possible on the field, and the reason we have won the eight games in this season, is because of the players. They have played at a very high level of intensity, and the credit goes to Shreyas and the boys. He has done a terrific job, he was new to the role when he took over as captain half-way through last season, but I can see on a daily basis that he is growing as a person as well. He is much happier about being a leader of the team as he has captained Mumbai and India A as well this season, and that experience has really helped him,” said Ponting.
The corresponding fixture last season saw Delhi win a rain-affected match by 4-runs through DLS method. The home team batted first and scored a total of 196/6 in their 17.1 overs of batting as Rishabh Pant scored a blazing 69 off 29 balls, while Shreyas Iyer also contributed with 50 off 35 balls. In reply, Rajasthan managed to score 146/5 in their 12 overs of batting, which was led by Jos Buttler’s 67 off 26 balls. For Delhi, Trent Boult finished with the figures of 2-26 to help his side win the match by 4 runs through DLS method.
The two teams have previously faced each other on 19 occasions which has seen RR register 11 victories, while Delhi have managed to win only 8 matches.
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