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IPL: Ponting, Iyer hope for a strong start from Delhi Capitals
New Delhi, September 19, 2020
Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting and captain Shreyas Iyer on Saturday exuded confidence of a good start by their team in the 13th IPL.
Delhi Capitals will open their campaign in the Dream11 Indian Premier League (IPL) against Kings XI Punjab in Dubai on Sunday.
Addressing the media virtually over a video call from Dubai, they said, “We have done most of our planning and research on Kings XI leading up to this first game."
About playing away from home, and in the UAE, Shreyas reckoned that it “will be a big task” for his team, but “Dubai being a slow wicket shall help” in the latter stages of the tournament.
Talking about the induction of Ashwin and Rahane, in the team, Shreyas Iyer said, “They definitely bring a lot of strength and experience, and if you see the practice sessions we have had over the last few days, they have been amazing. They help everyone in the team and especially the younger guys.”
“With Rahane also in the mix, we think we’ve got a really balanced squad of players. There’s a lot of competition for spots and lots of flexibility. He gives us more depth to our batting and with the rest of the players in fine fettle, we think we’ve got lots of flexibility there,” said the coach.
He however hastened to add "One thing I say about IPL is that every squad is really strong. We can talk about how strong our team is, but I can guarantee that you can say the same thing about every other team,” .
“We learned some lessons last year that if we turn up 100% prepared to play and committed to our tasks and plans, we think we will be really hard to beat. You know it’s been a long lead-up to this first game, but I’m looking forward to the challenge, as I’m sure all the players also are. I expect that we will start the tournament strong tomorrow,” the coach said..
Asked whether playing in front of empty stadiums will be a challenge, Ponting said, “Playing in front of empty stadiums will be different. There are some challenges there for all the boys but once we do start, it will be about our group dragging their own atmosphere and energy, and will be focusing on lifting each other up.”
Ponting was also of the opinion that “seamers will have an impact during the early stages of the tournament” but “it will spin later as the season progresses.”
“With only three venues and like 24 games in each stadium and only 4 wickets being used, 5 or more matches will be played on one pitch, so I think we can expect the conditions to change quite a bit,” he said.
Sending a message to the Delhi Capitals’ fans, Ponting said, “We know we will have great support from back home, especially from Delhi. We’ve just got to make sure that we are doing the right thing by our supporters. So far the coaching group has done a good job to get the players prepared and now it is up to all of us to make sure we are ready to for the first game."