The Delhi Capitals might be second in the IPL 2020 points table, but their head coach Ricky Ponting has called for an even stronger show from the boys in their remaining matches.
In an interview with PTI, Ponting cited the example of their previous match in which the Rajasthan Royals were on top chasing 162 runs to win. But run-scoring became increasingly difficult later in the evening as they fell short by 12 runs. The UAE pitches have already begun to slow down, and they will be a major talking point in the second half of the tournament.
“One thing I have been telling the boys right from the start of this tournament is that I want us playing our best cricket in the back half of the tournament, not necessarily in the front half of the tournament...The pitches have noticeably started to slow down a little bit. I think even the RR game with them not managing to chase 160 on these ground [proved that],” Ponting said.
The former Australian captain acknowledged the fact that the pitches have behaved the exact opposite to how everyone anticipated they would before the start of IPL 2020.
“I think what we all felt when we came here was that maybe for the first half of the tournament, chasing might have been easier because of the bit of dew and also because of the little bit of more grass on the wickets...because we thought they are going to preserve the wickets for the back half of the tournament, but chasing has been hard right from the start,” Ponting explained.
‘I know how quickly the IPL can turn around’ - Ricky Ponting
In fact, the Delhi-based franchise have won all their 6 games in IPL 2020 batting first, and Ponting feels that chasing would become increasingly tougher going into the business end of the league.
And that’s exactly the reason why Ponting doesn’t want to take their second place for granted, even though the Capitals are just 2 wins away from progressing to the IPL 2020 playoffs.
“Yes, things are looking good at this stage of the season, but I am never the one to try and look too far ahead because I know how quickly the IPL can turn around...We have seen teams in the past have 6 wins from their first 6 games, and then not go on to make the playoffs. So we’ll keep a lid on things, and I still think we’re 6 wins from 8 games, but probably haven’t played our best cricket yet either,” Ponting further added.
The Delhi Capitals will take on sixth-placed Chennai Super Kings for the return-leg match in Sharjah tonight. The MS Dhoni-led side lost to DC by 44 runs earlier in the season. However, Ricky Ponting spoke very highly of the 3-time IPL champions.
“They’ve been proven performers – they have probably been the best team in the IPL since day 1, so when you’ve got guys like Watson, Dhoni, Jadeja and Faf in the side, you can’t them lightly,” Ponting signed off.
While a win would take DC to the summit of the IPL 2020 points table, CSK would know they are just a win away from breaking into the top 4.