IPL 2021: Ricky Ponting Reveals Ishant Sharma Is Suffering From Heel Niggle
Ishant Sharma, Ricky Ponting Image Source : DELHI CAPITALS/GETTY IMAGES
Ishant Sharma, Ricky Ponting Image Source : DELHI CAPITALS/GETTY IMAGES

IPL 2021: Ricky Ponting Reveals Ishant Sharma Is Suffering From Heel Niggle

Ricky Ponting, Delhi Capitals head coach said that Delhi pacer Ishant Sharma is suffering from a heel niggle and the side is working on his faster recovery.

The experienced lanky Indian pacer missed the first two games for Delhi Capitals. Rishabh Pant-led side lost against Rajasthan Royals by three wickets in their second game. Ishant Sharma’s absence created space for Avesh Khan who has impressed with his bowling in both games.

Ishant Sharma injured during training in IPL 2020
Ishant Sharma injured during training in IPL 2020 Twitter/@DelhiCapitals

Ricky Ponting: Ishant Sharma Had A Heel Niggle That Delhi Capitals Are Trying To Work Through But Avesh Khan Grabbed The Opportunity With Both Hands

Ishant Sharma was signed up by Delhi Capitals in 2018 for a salary of INR 1.1 crore and was retained by the franchise for the IPL 2021. The right-arm pacer had to miss out on the majority of the previous IPL season due to an injury playing only 1 match. He has taken 72 scalps in 90 IPL games averaging 36.19 and conceding runs at 8.09.

“He has been ultra-impressive, pretty much from the first day we arrived here for the training camp. Physically he looks a little bit better, he lost a little bit of weight from last season. He is definitely fitter and bowling faster.

“Without a little bit of extra fitness on his side, he is able to maintain his action better. His lines and lengths and slower ball execution is excellent so far,” Ricky Ponting said while replying to an ANI query in the virtual post-match press conference.

Ricky Ponting
Ricky Ponting

“Coming into the first game, Ishant Sharma obviously had a heel niggle that we have been trying to work through but Avesh grabbed his opportunity with both hands. He has been around with this franchise for a few years now and has not got the opportunity that he has been craving.

“Look so far, he has been one of our real finds and if you got an Indian fast bowler like him and the likes of Woakes, Rabada, Nortje and T Curran around we end up with a really strong fast bowling brigade,” Ricky Ponting added.

Ricky Ponting feels that spinner Ravichandran Ashwin not completing his four overs is a ‘mistake on their behalf’ despite just giving 14 runs in his three overs.

“That’s certainly something that we will talk about when I get a chance to sit down with the team. He had bowled beautifully. Three overs, none for 14. Hadn’t even conceded a boundary.
“Look he had a disappointing game in game one, but he has worked really hard in the last few days to make sure he adjusted and got things right in this game. I thought he bowled beautifully tonight. Probably a mistake on our behalf, and something we will be talking about later on,” Ricky Ponting said.

Sanju Samson won the toss and opted to bowl against DC. RR pacer Jaydev Unadkat built severe pressure with dot balls. Jaydev Unadkat scalped his third-wicket inside the six overs helping RR limit DC to 36/3 after 6 overs.

MOM Jaydev Unadkat returned with figures of 3/15 in 4 overs which included wickets of openers Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, and Ajinkya Rahane. Rishabh Pant’s 51 helped Delhi reach 147/8. Rajasthan was reduced to 42/5 and then 90/6 but then David Miller and Chris Morris led a fightback as Rajasthan scored 60 runs in the last 5 overs.

Ricky Ponting: Delhi Probably Gave Morris Too Many Easy Balls To Hit

Back in the team, left-handed batsman David Miller produced a 62-run knock and it was followed by Chris Morris’ cameo of 36 runs off just 18 balls as Royals defeated Delhi Capitals at the Wankhede Stadium.

The left-handed batsman came out to bat at the score of 17/3, and he guided Rajasthan’s innings. And with 27 needed off the final two overs, Chris Morris stepped up to the occasion to take his side over the line with two balls to spare.

David Miller's (62 off 43) and Chris Morris' cameo (36 off 18) lifted Rajasthan Royals to a last-over win over Delhi Capitals on Thursday. - BCCI/IPL
David Miller’s (62 off 43) and Chris Morris’ cameo (36 off 18) lifted Rajasthan Royals to a last-over win over Delhi Capitals on Thursday. – BCCI/IPL

“We probably gave him (Morris) a few too many easy balls, a few too many slot balls if you like. The length wasn’t quite where it needed to be. If you look at the replay of the game, if you bowled a reasonable yorker, he didn’t score off them.

“If it was back of a length, sort of, above stump high, he didn’t get hold of them either, especially with pace on the ball. We talked about how to bowl to him, but the execution probably wasn’t there,” Ricky Ponting said.

“The other thing you have got to factor in is just how wet and how dewy the ball was in the second innings of the game. It wasn’t easy for the bowlers to grip. You could see it at the end there.

“There were a few full tosses that fast bowlers bowled with the ball slipping out of their hand a little bit. That’s part and parcel of IPL cricket. We knew coming here that there will be a little bit of dew in the second half of the game. And we didn’t adapt, and we didn’t execute as well as we could have tonight,” he added.

Delhi Capitals will next take on Punjab Kings here at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday.

Brief Scores:  Rajasthan Royals 150/7 (David Miller 62, Chris Morris 36*; Avesh Khan 3/32) beat Delhi Capitals 147/8 (Rishabh Pant 51, Tom Curran 21; Jaydev Unadkat 3/15) by 3 wickets.