South African and Delhi Capitals fast bowler Anrich Nortje, who has been one of the best performers for Delhi, revealed that head coach Ricky Ponting doesn't use cliches and calls a spade a spade. After reaching playoffs last year, Delhi Capitals have emerged as a dominant force this year.
When Ricky Ponting took over the reins as the head coach of the Delhi Capitals in 2018, he had a lot of work to do given how poor the side had been over the years. Mid-way through the season Gautam Gambhir resigned and young Shreyas Iyer took over but it was a disappointing season. But correcting the wrongs next IPL in 2019, Delhi Capitals reached the playoffs stage and now are one of the top sides in the league as they have dominated this year. At the moment, DC are numero-uno in the points table with 14 points after nine games.
South African and DC pacer Anrich Nortje gave insights into the team environment and stated that there's a lot of banter between the boys and as they are all in the middle 20s, it's great to be around them. He also revealed that head coach Ricky Ponting is someone who says things as they are sans sugar coating and doesn't use cliches.
"On the field, we try and bounce ideas off one another; but off the field, we speak a lot of nonsense and have fun. In general, we have some good banter. Nice having a young team. Lot of 24-26 year-olds. Really nice being around the group. There is a lot of experience as well, even though it is a young group. Everyone is from a different condition and background, so (we) just try and see how everyone goes about it. Ricky (Ponting) is also pretty good and calls a spade a spade. Not a lot of cliches are used," Nortje told ANI, reported TOI.
Nortje has done a fabulous job with the ball in hand and has been able to bowl tight lines and lengths despite his express pace, which has helped him immensely. He has taken 12 wickets in nine games thus far with an economy under 8. The 26-year-old feels that good line and length is not easy to counter for even the likes of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.
"Try and keep it simple. It is not about the players but more about what we need to do and try and focus on the plan. Better the player, more you have to focus. A good length is a good length and then work around our strengths and see where we can beat them and try and get them out. Even to Rohit, a good line and length will be difficult to play as long as we can hit the mark," he said.
When you can bowl as fast as Nortje can, he has in fact bowled the fastest delivery in IPL history clocking 156 kmph in the game against RR, bouncers become quite effective and it has been an option that the right-handed pacer has relied on as well.
"It's just something that I use. No point bowling just six full balls every time. You need to push the batsmen and make them aware of what you have. Whether they get out that ball or next ball, but it is a weapon you have to use as a fast bowler. You cannot let them just lunge forward every time. Especially in T20 cricket, it makes life so much easier."
Now, as we are progressing to the business end of the tournament, with wickets getting weary, spinners are likely to come into play more than earlier, a thought echoed by Nortje as well.
"I think they are going to play a massive role later in the tournament. Conditions a little bit tough when you hit the good length. In general, I think if you bowl a good line and length, there is a lot offered by the wicket and you don't need to do too many things. I think we just try to keep it as simple as possible," he said.