"Playoffs are completely different, our tournament starts now,” says Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting
New Delhi, October 10, 2021
Admitting that the 7-wicket loss against Royal Challengers Bangalore in their last IPL league stage match was a big disappointment, Delhi Capitals Head Coach Ricky Ponting said that the defeat would give the team a chance to reflect on how they could improve ahead of the Qualifier match against Chennai Super Kings.
Delhi Capitals take on Chennai Super Kings in Qualifier 1 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai on Sunday.
"The Playoffs are completely different, and our tournament really starts now," Ponting was quoted as saying by a Delhi Capitals media release from Dubai.
Delhi Capitals, who finished the IPL league stage on the top of the points table, have beaten Chennai Super Kings in both their league matches.
Speaking about their Qualifiers 1 match against MS Dhoni's men, Ponting said, "I think we should be very confident. We have beaten them twice in the league games, but as you know, the playoff games are completely different, and our tournament really starts now.
"It starts when our players get their recovery done from tonight's (Friday) game, and then we make sure we get ourselves in the right mindset to take on Chennai.
"They are also a very good side, they have been level pegging with us right throughout the tournament, who's gonna finish first and who's gonna second. So, we totally respect them as a playing group, and them as a franchise," he said.
He acknowledged that Friday evening's defeat "was a disappointing way for the game to end and for us to lose the way we did, but I am not unhappy about it at all.
"I actually think, it's a really good thing because it will give the boys a chance to reflect and think about how we can improve for Sunday's game, and it's a short turnaround, so you have to forget about things and start focusing on the next game."
The coach termed the loss a "step forward", saying that, despite losing, the team played better as compared to the last couple of matches which they won in the league stage.
"A lot to like about tonight's game, even though we have lost. I think it's a step forward. If you look at the last game (against Chennai Super Kings), it wasn't a great performance, the Mumbai game wasn't a great performance either, but we still managed to win those games.
"If you look at it, we probably have played better tonight than the games we have won, so that's certainly the way I look at it. It's not about end results, it's about the performances we were putting on the board," Ponting said.
"Prithvi played his best game. Shikhar probably looked his best in the tournament, so there's a lot to like about this group. As I said earlier, we have played good cricket, the challenge now for us over the next week is to play great cricket, and I think that's just around the corner for us," he added.