Delhi Capitals had a season to remember in the 2019 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). After having suffered the ignominy of not making it to the top-4 for eight years, the Ricky Ponting-coached and Shreyas Iyer-led Capitals’ made their way to the playoffs on the back of consistent performances throughout the season.
Prior to the IPL 2020 auction, the Capitals’ think-tank opted to rope in the services of Indian Internationals like Ajinkya Rahane and Ravichandran Ashwin. It was a move that raised eyebrows of both fans as well as pundits, purely because of two reasons. Firstly, both the Indian cricketers in question no longer play white-ball cricket for the country and were coming off an underwhelming 2018 season.
Secondly, Delhi already has two established openers in Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw and enough spin-bowling options in Amit Mishra, Axar Patel, and Sandeep Lamichhane. However, coach Ricky Ponting feels that the decision to opt for Ashwin and Rahane was because of the Kotla track.
“They are the kind of players who are likely to do well on the Kotla wicket, and of course, bring tremendous experience with them. We’ve had several discussions over the last few months, and have put in a lot of time and effort to make sure that we’re well prepared,” Ponting said as quoted by Times Now.
Fast bowlers will go for big money in the upcoming auction – Ricky Ponting
When asked who would be the biggest attraction in the upcoming auctions, Ricky Ponting was quick to assert that fast bowlers and all-rounders will be on the radar of all the franchises. “There’s going to be a lot of focus and attention on fast bowlers, overseas ones in particular. Pat Cummins could go for big money, as could Chris Woakes.
“All-rounders are always interesting in my opinion. Players like Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Marsh, Jimmy Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme could all be big picks. Going into the auction you have to be very specific about the kind of players you need,” he said.
Delhi Capitals had a great season last year where they finished in the top-four before eventually losing the playoffs to Chennai Super Kings. But, Ponting has happy memories of the campaign and he also went on to say at times it felt like Delhi were the best team in the competition.
“The semi-final loss against Chennai was disappointing of course. But we played some great cricket, and even now, about 7-8 months after the tournament, I feel like there were times when we were the best team in the competition. I just remember how much fun everybody had.
It was a totally different environment than most other IPLs that I have been a part of. The idea is to recreate that atmosphere and culture with our new and existing bunch of players.” the former Australia skipper concluded.
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