Monday, October 25, 2021

Playoff games are completely different, our tournament really starts now: Ponting

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Dubai, Oct 9 (IANS) Delhi Capitals Head Coach Ricky Ponting reckons that despite beating Chennai Super Kings twice in the group stages, playoff games will be completely different. He also said that their tournament really begins now. Delhi will meet Chennai in Qualifier 1 on Sunday in Dubai.

“I think we should be very confident. We have beaten them twice in the league games, but as you know, the playoff games are completely different, and our tournament really starts now,” said Ponting in a release issued by the franchise on Saturday.

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“It starts when our players get their recovery done from tonight’s (Friday) game, and then we make sure we get ourselves in the right mindset to take on Chennai. They are also a very good side, they have been level pegging with us right throughout the tournament, who’s gonna finish first and who’s gonna second. So, we totally respect them as a playing group, and them as a franchise,” added Ponting.

Ponting believes that Delhi’s loss in the final match of the league stages against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Dubai gives his team a chance to reflect on mistakes and make improvements for the same ahead of Qualifier 1.

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“It was a disappointing way for the game to end, and for us to lose the way we did, but I am not unhappy about it at all. I actually think, it’s a really good thing because it will give the boys a chance to reflect and think about how we can improve for Sunday’s game, and it’s a short turnaround, so you have to forget about things and start focusing on the next game.”

Ponting termed the last-ball loss to Bangalore as a ‘step forward’ and added that despite losing, the team played better as compared to the last couple of matches which they won in the league stage.

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“A lot to like about tonight’s game, even though we have lost. I think it’s a step forward. If you look at the last game (against Chennai Super Kings), it wasn’t a great performance, the Mumbai game wasn’t a great performance either, but we still managed to win those games. If you look at it, we probably have played better tonight than the games we have won, so that’s certainly the way I look at it. It’s not about end results, it’s about the performances we were putting on the board.”

The 46-year-old concluded by saying that the challenge for Delhi will be to play great cricket at the business end of the tournament. “Prithvi (Shaw) played his best game tonight, Shikhar (Dhawan) probably looked his best in the tournament, so there’s a lot to like about this group. As I said earlier, we have played good cricket, the challenge now for us over the next week is to play great cricket, and I think that’s just around the corner for us.”

–IANS

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