Delhi Capitals’ head coach Ricky Ponting admitted on Wednesday ahead of their clash against Punjab Kings that his side’s preparations haven’t been perfect for the clash at Brabourne Stadium.
There was a huge question mark over the match happening as per the schedule with six Covid-19 cases in Delhi’s camp, including all-rounder Mitchell Marsh infected with the virus on April 18 and wicketkeeper-batter Tim Seifert contracting the virus on the morning of the match.
“Things have been a little bit interrupted with Mitch Marsh down with Covid. Our session yesterday was pushed back. The preparations haven’t been perfect and I addressed the group about the two options we have – we can drag our backsides around or we can take the positives around and realise that we are here for a big tournament with a great franchise,” said Ponting in a pre-match chat with broadcasters Star Sports.
Ponting feels that with the team short on match practice, a lot depends on how the leaders in the team will inspire the team to do well with a positive frame of mind. “We have to turn up with a positive attitude and we know we have to play well in this game. With games like these and tournaments like these, you need the leaders (in the team) to stand up. So far in the tournament, (David) Warner’s leadership has been great, Rishabh (Pant) has been good. Mustafizur (Rahman) apart from an over or two has been good.”
Delhi are currently at seventh place in points table with four points in five matches and Ponting stated that the team’s focus will be on playing at the best of their abilities in both innings of the match to gain some momentum for the second half of the tournament.
“We have been playing 35-36 overs of good cricket in a match, just that 3 or 4 bad overs have gone bad. Today’s focus will be on playing 40 overs of good cricket. We know that we can do that, and we have another game in a couple of days’ time (against Rajasthan Royals, April 22). It has been a stop-start tournament for us, so we need to get some momentum for the rest of the tournament.”
Ponting signed off by expressing confidence in Pant and Co’s abilities to put up a good performance against Punjab. “The players are very aware of the way I want them to play. There have been interruptions with player availability but we haven’t spoken much about that.”