Ricky Ponting is of the opinion that sending Marcus Stoinis to bat at No. 3 against Kolkata in the Qualifier 2 of the IPL 2021 was the right decision. Talking about the match, Ponting also pointed out that the conditions changed dramatically in the second innings in Sharjah on Wednesday.
Delhi Capitals lost against KKR by 3 wickets in Qualifier 2 of the IPL 2021 and the low total in the first innings was the reason behind it. Batting first, DC set a 136run target for KKR on a difficult pitch to bat on at Sharjah. A surprising decision to promote Marcus Stoinis in the batting order was taken by the team management in the match. Stoinis, who had missed out team's previous encounters due to an injury, played a sluggish knock of 18 runs from 23 balls and was dismissed by Shivam Mavi.
Sharing his views on whether sending Stoinis at No. 3 backfired and preferring him ahead of Steve Smith in the playing XI, Ponting said that the decision was right and the team required him in the crucial encounter.
"Middle-order players, Indian players even struggled to get going on that surface. So, I think it was the right decision. We probably didn't get the outcome that we were after, though. We thought long and hard about where Marcus's best bet would be the batting order for us today. I mean, as we all are aware, he missed about three weeks with a hamstring injury, so he hadn't played any cricket. We desperately wanted him back into the team today because we knew he could bat at the top of the order and bat down at the death if required," he said in the post-match press conference.
Delhi batsmen were seen struggling on this pitch. They were struggling to play their shots as the nature of the pitch was slow. Commenting on the same, Ponting said that it was really difficult for any new batsman to play attacking cricket.
"As you saw today, with that type of pitch, it's really difficult for any new batsman to come in and start on. Even Shikhar at the top didn't get away from the flier that we were after," said Ponting.
The opening pair of the KKR, Shubhman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer gave the team a flying start. The openers scored 96 runs for the opening wicket and they looked very comfortable during their stay on the crease. Although KKR lost some wickets in the end they chased the target for a loss of 7 wickets.
Explaining how the match panned out, Ponting said that the conditions changed dramatically in the second innings and batting became easier.
"As you would have noticed watching the game, the conditions changed dramatically from first innings to second innings. I mean the first probably 10 overs of their beginnings, when they had a newish ball and dew was on the ground, certainly made batting look a lot easier than what it seemed for our guys, but that's more the reason why we had to make more runs than we did in the first innings," he opined.
Venkatesh Iyer continued his superb form with a knock of 41 balls 55 against DC. Iyer has been performing brilliantly throughout the second leg of the IPL 2021 and his addition in the team has made a difference. The former Australia captain Ricky Ponting said that Venkatesh Iyer is a good player and he might be a terrific player for Kolkata and India in the future.
"Not trying to defend them... but well done to the opening stand today for KKR, thought they did a great job and I think they have actually found a really good player in Venkatesh Iyer. He looks like someone that could be a terrific player for Kolkata and maybe even India in the future," Ponting concluded.