Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting has heaped praises on new signings Ravichandran Ashwin and Ajinkya Rahane and said that the experienced duo will add value to the young Delhi team.
Speaking after conducting his first training session ahead of the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Tuesday evening, Ponting lauded off-spinner Ashwin and batting ace Rahane.
“Both of them are class players, and have been long-term Indian players. Ashwin has been one of the most successful spinners in the IPL history, and Rahane has led Rajasthan for a long time as well,” IANS quoted Ponting as saying.
“They have all sorts of skill, class, and experience which they’ll add to our squad. We all know how important experience is in T20 cricket, and we understand that. We’ve got a young captain in Shreyas, but to have those older, more experienced minds on the ground will help us a lot,” Ponting said.
Ponting had arrived in Dubai last week and oversaw the first net session of the Delhi Capitals players at the ICC academy in Dubai on a hot and humid Tuesday. The Australian legend expressed his excitement to be finally back on the cricket ground.
“The attitude from the start has been amazing, and today was no exception. It was hot and quite draining for the players but coming off on the back of a good season last year, you would expect the mood to be upbeat – and I was delighted to see that and it felt awesome to be back in the team environment, and I think there’s no better place than to be in the Delhi Capitals camp at the moment,” said Ponting.
Weather conditions will be a challenge this season for franchises, which could be overcome by managing training sessions better, Ponting said.
“We’ve got a smaller squad so I want to sort of manage our training sessions differently than we did last year. I’ve made it clear to the boys that we are not going to over-train in the first three weeks. I believe our preparation leading up to the first game is critical. I want to make sure that physically, technically, and tactically the boys are peaking for the first game,” he said.
“It is an unusual time we have got — having three weeks — I think we had slotted in about 20 training sessions before our first game, which in my opinion are too many, so we are just going to see how the boys are shaping up after every training session and then take it from there,” added the 45-year-old.
With IANS inputs