Ahead of DC’s opening clash against CSK, Ricky Ponting has opined that DC are still very unsure about who would open the batting for the three-time champions. Ponting also insisted that Suresh Raina, who missed out on last year’s competition would almost be like a new signing for them this year.
While Chennai Super Kings purchased Moeen Ali, Cheteshwar Pujara, and C Hari Nishaanth, it added salt to the already existing confusion of who will open the innings for the Men in Yellow. Last year, CSK, who finished seventh on the table had Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis open for them. This year, not only did they add Ali, Pujara, and Nishaanth, they also traded in Robin Uthappa from Rajasthan Royals.
Ahead of Delhi’s clash against the three-time IPL champions, CSK, head coach Ricky Ponting opined that the Delhi management is still unsure of who will open the batting for the opposition. While not only praising the Men in Yellow, Ponting also added that Delhi have also got a great squad, insisting that they are keen to build on their run from last season.
"We have been looking at their squad and analysing their squad over the last week, and they have got a good squad of players together. They have got lots of flexibility. Even now, when we have talked about it for a week, and we are still not sure who's gonna open the batting for them. So they have got lots of options. But at the same time, we have got a great squad, and we want to build on last season." Ricky Ponting told pressers, reported India Today.
CSK ultimately finished seventh last season, just ahead of Rajasthan but Ponting warns that a lot of it had boiled down to the fact that they were missing their key star, Suresh Raina.
"They have been one of the most successful teams in IPL history. They have obviously got a great leader and a great squad of players. They have always managed to play really consistent cricket. Last year they were probably disappointed with the way their season worked out,” Ponting said.
However, with Raina’s return, Ponting expressed that it will almost be like a ‘new’ signing for the Men in Yellow, who usually rely on their experienced players to come up with the goods. Both sides would be without the services of their South African players - Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada for the first encounter.
“I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that Suresh Raina wasn't there for the entire tournament. He comes back into the squad this year which is almost like a new signing. A great player and a very experienced player that they missed last year.”
In addition, the Delhi Capitals would miss the service of Axar Patel, who caught the COVID-19 virus ahead of the tournament opener, which now puts them weak on the bowling front, against a strong batting line-up in the form of CSK.