Delhi Capitals enjoyed their best Indian Premier League season in years when the team reached playoffs last season. Addition of Shikhar Dhawan while young names like captain Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant and Prithvi Shaw clicking meant that the capital side dropped the perennial underperformers tag.
This has certainly left DC’s head coach Ricky Ponting excited, who feels the team has one of the best batting units in the tournament while rejecting doubts that there might not be enough firepower in the middle-order.
“This year we have a very balanced squad. We got flexibility in the team and there’s competition for all the spots. We also have flexibility in the batting order that allows us to change the batting order as requires,” Ponting said during DC’s virtual press conference from Dubai.
“Someone like Shikhar Dhawan took his game to another level and addition of Ajinkya Rahane added further depth to the side. Prithvi Saw is someone who is better than he was last year and our captain Shreyas Iyer has enjoyed his best 12 months with the Indian team.”
With IPL 2020 narrowed down to just three venues in the UAE – Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, it has been widely speculated that the spinners will have a bigger role to play this year.
And as the DC gear up for their season opener against fellow north Indian franchise Kings XI Punjab in Dubai, Ponting gave an insight of the Dubai International stadium pitches and reckoned that spinner might not have a big role to play in the early part of IPL 2020.
“I think the conditions are going to change throughout the tournament as so many matches are going to be played over three venues. I think Dubai alone is going to host 24 games and it has four pitches.
“There was fair bit of grass on the pitch and I think it will further be reduced by the time we play the match tomorrow (Sunday). That’s why in the initial part of the series, seamers will have a bigger role to play and spinner won’t be that effective,” he explained.
The former Australian captain added that as the tournament progresses, spinners will have a bigger role to play.
Settling the Ponting-R Ashwin feud over the latter’s Mankading habit, the coach added that the duo had multiple conversations over the matter and have come to an understanding of how they want to play cricket.
“We had more than one conversations on the matter,” chuckled Ponting. “I actually called Ashwin the night after my comments hit the news. We have talked about a lot of things and decided how we want to play cricket.
In fact, last year, after the incident happened (Ashwin was captain of Kings XI at that time), I had a talk with the entire team on how we look at the incident and we all unanimously decided that we don’t want to play that way. I understand why Ashwin did it and he also understands how we play cricket,” Ponting said.