Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting would be more than happy with his team’s performance this IPL season but as Qualifier 1 beckons, the Australian great knows that all the good work during the season could come to naught if his side flounders against Chennai Super Kings later on Sunday.
Ponting is all too aware of that and knows that the real test begins now.
In a video shared by DC on their social media, Ponting can be seen addressing his squad ahead of their clash against CSK. While DC lost their last league game against RCB, Ricky Ponting focused on the positives and hailed the squad for their performances over the season which helped them qualify for the IPL 2021 playoffs.
The Australian cricket legend said, “To finish top of the table, was something we haven’t talked about yet. Everyone that’s in this room has been a part of what we’ve done so far in the tournament. You should be really proud of yourselves because it has been exceptional up to this point. But I’m really keen to make sure that our tournament starts Sunday, and that’s when the real cricket’s going to be played.”
Ponting had words of encouragement for young Avesh Khan, who conceded last-ball six against RCB which resulted in DC’s loss. However, Khan has been one of the most impressive pacers in the tournament and is second only to Harshal Patel in terms of wickets.
“Avesh? You’ve been one of the best bowlers in the tournament. Not just in our team, in the tournament over 14 games. Don’t let one over or two balls tonight change the way you go about your work whatsoever. Because if you get put in the same situation again on Sunday, you’ll win the situation for us. I know you will,” Ponting said.
— Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) October 10, 2021
Notably, the winner of the DC vs CSK clash will secure a berth in the IPL 2021 final, while the losing side will play Qualifier 2.
Pointing out that it wouldn’t be a cakewalk against the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led CSK, the Australian great said, “We totally respect them as a playing group and them as a franchise, but I am pretty sure that if we play as well as we can play, we will be very hard to beat.”
After an unprecedented IPL 2021 that took place over two phases and countries, Delhi Capitals are again part of the final four of the competition, for the third year in a row.
Finishing top of the table means the Rishabh Pant-led side get two cracks at securing a spot in the finals, and standing in between them and that right now are CSK, a side the Delhi franchise have beaten four times running.
DC recently completed the double over CSK, which will do Pant and Co’s confidence a world of good going into the game on Sunday.