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IPL 2024: Delhi bowlers will go after all of SRH’s top-order batters, says head coach Ricky Ponting

19 Apr, 2024 20:35 IST|Sakshi Post

New Delhi, April 19 (IANS) Both Delhi Capitals and Sunrisers Hyderabad come into Saturday’s clash at the Arun Jaitley Stadium on the back of contrasting wins. While the DC bowlers impressed to skittle out Gujarat Titans for just 89, SRH’s batters posted a gigantic 287/3 against Royal Challengers Bengaluru.

All of this signals that the clash to watch out for will be between DC’s bowlers, who have picked 13 scalps in Power-play, and SRH’s batters, who have a run rate of 10.81, the best amongst all teams in the competition. With DC returning to play at their original home ground for the first time in IPL 2024, head coach Ricky Ponting has promised that his team’s bowling department will go after SRH’s top-order batters from the word go.

“We've done all our planning today. We've got some very clear plans in place to rule their batsmen. First and foremost, how are we going to get them out? I think one thing you can't afford to do against batting lineups like this is just get too defensive straight away. If you get defensive, that's what they want. So we're going to go after all their top-order batsmen, no doubt about it.”

“We'll go after them with the right matchups and we'll hit them with some pace early on. We know the right spin matchups for their batsmen as well. If they come out and try and play the way that they have been playing if they lose two or three early wickets, then that's going to make it really interesting and that's our objective with the new ball.”

“Generally here in Delhi, it does do something with the new ball. There'll be some swing. There is a little bit of extra grass on the wicket this year. So there might be some seam movement early on. So we'll be meeting fire with fire. We know the way that they're going to play and we know the way that we're going to get them out. So I can't wait for the challenge for our players tomorrow,” said Ponting in the pre-match press conference.

With Saturday’s clash being the first game at the stadium, it would mean that the pitch, despite the unknown element, will be a fresh one, offering opportunity for batters to get big runs and for bowlers, especially the spinners, finding slow turn and bounce. Ponting also said he won’t mind for a batting shoot-out to happen on Saturday.

“When we've been away from Kotla in the last couple of years, we've been able to score pretty heavily. We probably feel right now as well that our batting group are batting as well as any other team in the tournament.”

“Our approach in that small run chase last game was great. This year the lowest we've got is 167 and that was when we were bowled out chasing 270 (against KKR). So we had to go pretty hard in that game. But I think our batsmen are going great. We don't mind having a shootout tomorrow. If it's a high-scoring game against Sunrisers, so be it.”

“We know and expect that they're going to play the way that they've played so far in the tournament, which has been going really hard at the top of the order with the bat and trying to post a big first innings total. So we're happy to try and match them in that. We think we've got as good a batting lineup if not better batting lineup than theirs. So we'll see how things work out tomorrow.”

In WPL 2024, matches in Delhi were good for run-scoring, but as the tournament progressed, it became slower and aided bowlers more, especially in the Eliminator and Final. Ponting feels that giving the venue a break after hosting WPL 2024 means it got the pitches to be fresh and sport good grass covering.

“We landed in Delhi from Ahmedabad yesterday afternoon. Sourav (Ganguly, director of cricket) and I got in the car straight away and came down to Kotla to have a look at the wicket. We obviously haven't been here. We played seven games pretty much away (last year), although Vizag was our home ground for those couple of games (this year).”

“We had a look at the strip, and it does look good actually. The whole wicket block, as you can probably see from here, has got a lot more grass on the entire square than we're used to seeing here. It was the main reason that we moved away for those couple of games. On the back of the WPL, we wanted to ensure that we had some grass back on the wicket block.”

“The wickets could potentially play a bit better than they have done for us in the last couple of years. So we're really excited to be back in our home ground. We want to make sure that this becomes a fortress for us when opposition teams come here. So we're excited to be here and hopefully, we can start our home campaign really well tomorrow.”

Asked about David Warner’s availability, who missed the game at Ahmedabad due to a finger injury, Ponting said, “We won't know with Davey (Warner) until we start training today. He did a fitness test on game day in Ahmedabad. He got close, probably at sort of 85 or 90 percent full fitness a couple of days ago.”

“So, we'd expect that there'd be a little bit more improvement from him today. But he'll have to do a lot of batting today against some fast bowling to make sure that that pain that he had last week is not there anymore. So hopefully he's fit and ready to go.”

Saturday’s match will also see Rishabh Pant play an IPL game at his home ground after 1813 days. Pant last played an IPL match in Delhi for the franchise as their lead wicketkeeper-batter on May 4, 2019, and will now take the field on Saturday as the side’s captain.

“Look, I don't think there's anyone happier than me as the coach of this team to see Rishabh Pant back playing for the Delhi Capitals. I've said this already, I think we all had some fears that he might not make it back. If he made it back, he might not make it back as good as he was. But I think what we're seeing as this tournament goes on, he's coming back every bit as good as he was.”

“I mean, his keeping last game was absolutely outstanding. If there was ever going to be a question mark on his comeback, it was going to be about his keeping because of all the crouching and squatting he had to do. But I mean, you saw his work up at the stumps last game and the great catch he took to get David Miller out.”

“We've seen as this tournament's gone on, how much more impact he's having with the bat in that number four position for us. So it's great to have him back. He'll really enjoy playing here. The DC fans are going to love seeing Rishabh Pant walk onto the field tomorrow. So it's really exciting for us and Delhi. For the city to have their team back in Delhi and play a big game tomorrow. It's obviously more exciting to have Rishabh back as captain,” concluded Ponting.

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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