The presence of seasoned campaigners in the Delhi Capitals side is a blessing for a young captain like Rishabh Pant, who can bounce off ideas from players such as Ravichandran Ashwin and Ajinkya Rahane.
Pant, one of the youngest captains of an IPL outfit having taken over from an injured Shreyas Iyer, feels that “nothing changes” for him after having even set fields as a keeper when he was not in charge.
“I have been talking to the senior players like Shikhar Dhawan, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ajinkya Rahane about the fields we can set and other strategic decisions for the team,” Pant was quoted as saying in a press release on the eve of DC’s opening game against Chennai Super Kings.
“I have been talking to Ricky and our bowling coach James Hopes as well. There’s a good mix of seniors and juniors in our squad and I think with the help of Ricky, we can do something different this year.”
— Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) April 8, 2021
Pant wants to keep things simple and believes that his peripheral vision as a keeper would help while leading the side from behind the stumps.
“I haven’t thought about the fact that it’s my first match as captain in the IPL. I am just going to keep things simple and give my 100 percent. You get a good idea about setting fields as a wicketkeeper and now as captain I will be making the changes in the field directly.
“So, there’s not going to be much of a difference for me,” said Pant.
For Ponting, facing a team like CSK, with a proven record, is always a tough challenge and he expects the “right attitude” from each and every member of his side.
“Although we’ve got a slightly different squad, we expect to play better as a group and achieve some better results. So, for us, Chennai Super Kings is just game one. We need to approach it with the right attitude and play well.
“Hopefully, win that game and move onto the second game. But we know that we’ll have to play well to win,” said Ponting.
Suresh Raina’s absence last season did hamper CSK’s chances, feels the former Australian skipper.
“The Chennai Super Kings have been one of the most successful teams in the history of the IPL. They have got a great leader and a great squad of players. They have always managed to play consistent cricket.
“Last year, they were probably disappointed with the way their season worked out, but I think a lot of that had to do with the fact that Suresh Raina wasn’t there for the entire tournament. He comes back to the squad this year, which is almost like a new recruit for them.”
Ponting feels that 10-11 days of training before the first game is good enough preparations and there is no place for any excuses.
“I am really happy about how our last 10-11 days have gone. There will be certainly no excuses from us about how we perform in Game 1.
“We’ve got a great group of players, who are hungry and excited for another challenge for us as a franchise and a team. So, I am excited to see how the boys play tomorrow.”