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IPL 2020

IPL 2020: Ponting delighted to have Ashwin, Rahane in Delhi Capitals team Filed on September 2, 2020
The Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting during a training session in Dubai. (Delhi Capitals Twitter)

Despite the humid conditions, Ponting was happy with his players after he put them through their paces at the ICC Academy in Dubai

The Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting may not share Ravichandran Ashwin's views on the 'Mankading' issue, but the Australian icon was delighted to have the experienced Indian off-spinner in his team.

Ashwin left Kings XI Punjab to join the Delhi Capitals this season in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

And Ponting believes the 33-year-old spinner and the 32-year-old Indian middle-order batsman, Ajinkya Rahane, who played for the Rajasthan Royals last season, will bring their wealth of experience to a Delhi team led by the 25-year-old Shreyas Iyer.

"Both of them are class players, and have been long-term Indian players. Ashwin has been one of the most successful spinners in the IPL history, and Rahane has led Rajasthan for a long time as well," Ponting said after conducting a team training session.

"They have all sorts of skill, class, and experience which they'll add to our squad. We all know how important experience is in T20 cricket, and we understand that. We've got a young captain in Shreyas, but to have those older, more experienced minds on the ground will help us a lot," the former Australian captain added.

Despite the humid conditions, Ponting was happy with his players after he put them through their paces at the ICC Academy in Dubai.

"The attitude from the start has been amazing, and today was no exception. It was hot and quite draining for the players but coming off on the back of a good season last year, you would expect the mood to be upbeat," Ponting said, referring to the team's run to the playoffs last year in the IPL.

"I was delighted to see that and it felt awesome to be back in the team environment, and I think there's no better place than to be in the Delhi Capitals camp at the moment."

The team, according to Ponting, have to be smart in their training plans considering the weather conditions.

"I've made it clear to the boys that we are not going to over-train in the first three weeks. I believe our preparation leading up to the first game is critical. I want to make sure that physically, technically, and tactically the boys are peaking for the first game," he said.

"It is an unusual time we have got -- having three weeks -- I think we had slotted in about 20 training sessions before our first game, which in my opinion are too many, so we are just going to see how the boys are shaping up after every training session and then take it from there."

And finding the perfect balance in a bio-secure bubble will be key, Ponting said.

"With all the protocols involved, the teams that manage themselves the best throughout the tournament, I think, will go a long way. What I mean by management is not managing the players, but managing our time as well, and finding things and activities which we can do together as a group," said Ponting who led Australia to two World Cup wins in the 50-over format.


Rituraj Borkakoty

A big fan of the Argentina national football team, Rituraj generally writes on sports. But he deeply cherishes the time he spent with his favourite musician from Assam, India, for an interview. And he loves to bring human interest stories to Khaleej Times readers.

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