Ricky Ponting, Delhi Capitals coach, feels the last defeat to Royal Challengers Bangalore in their previous league game of the ongoing IPL has given his team a “chance to reflect” ahead of the playoffs.
Having suffered a dramatic seven-wicket loss against RCB here on Friday, Delhi Capitals will look to bounce back with a win in Qualifier to make a direct entry into the final of the lucrative event for the second successive time in a row when they take on Chennai Super Kings in Qualifier 1 at the same venue on Sunday.
Ricky Ponting: It Was Disappointing To Lose The Game, But It Will Give DC A Chance To Reflect And Improve Upon In The 1st Qualifier
What was essentially a dead rubber looked like slipping away from Royal Challengers Bangalore’s grasps at 55 for 3 halfway into a chase of 165 against top-ranked Delhi Capitals. But then two catches slipped through the hands of Shreyas Iyer and Ravichandran Ashwin, and Glenn Maxwell made the most of their lives to set the scene for a blockbuster finish from KS Bharat.
“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,” said Ricky Ponting.
“It’s a short turnaround, so you have to forget about things and start focusing on the next game,” said Ricky Ponting.
He also termed the loss a “step forward”. He reckoned that despite losing, the team played better compared to the last couple of matches they won in the league stage.
“A lot to like about the 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,” said Ricky Ponting.
Needing 165 runs to win, RCB rode on KS Bharat’s 78* off 52 and Glenn Maxwell’s 33-ball 51* and sealed a seven-wicket win in the final league-stage encounter.
Ricky Ponting: Prithvi Shaw And Shikhar Dhawan Looked In Great Touch, And Delhi Is Confident To Win In Qualifier 1 Against CSK
The Australian batting great is optimistic heading into the playoffs.
“Prithvi played his best game tonight, Shikhar 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.”
On the top of the points table, Delhi Capitals, who finished the IPL 2021 league stage, have beaten Chennai Super Kings in their league matches.
Speaking about their Qualifiers 1 match against MS Dhoni’s men, Ricky Ponting said, “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.”
Earlier, unchanged RCB elected to bowl against DC, who also retained the same playing XI which took the field in the last game. DC made a solid start, courtesy of the opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw, whose fireworks helped DC post 55 runs on the board in the powerplay. The duo then added 33 runs in the next four overs and took DC to 88/0 at the halfway stage of their innings.
However, RCB broke the partnership as Harshal Patel dismissed Shikhar Dhawan for 43 in the 11th over. Yuzvendra Chahal got Prithvi Shaw out for 48. Shreyas Iyer and Shimron Hetmyer then helped DC cross the 140-run mark before the right-hander got out for 18 off Mohammed Siraj in the 18th over. Shimron Hetmyer, meanwhile, scored a brisk 29 off 22 balls as DC posted 164/5 on the board.
Brief Scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 166/3 (KS Bharat 78*, Glenn Maxwell 51*; Anrich Nortje 2/24) beat Delhi Capitals 164/5 (Prithvi Shaw 48, Shikhar Dhawan 43; Mohammed Siraj 2/25) by 7 wickets.