In a close, but crushing defeat against Rajasthan Royals, the Delhi Capitals side picked up on several avoidable mistakes that could have flipped the table on the match verdict. Off-spinner Ashwin, for starters, was pulled out early from his four-over quota, with skipper Pant bringing on Marcus Stoinis instead. The one-over switch-out made all the difference, both in the eyes of critics and coach Ricky Ponting, as the losing side conceded 15 overs to Rajasthan Royals.
“That’s certainly something that we will talk about when I get a chance to sit down with the team,” Ponting said at the post-match press conference.”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,” he added, on Ashwin’s performance.
Another contributing factor, according to Ponting, was the easy slot balls they handed to Chris Morris, allowing any possibility of a victory to slip out of the Capitals’ grasp. Morris managed to hit four sixes in a game where there hadn’t been a single six hit thus far. The fifteenth over turned things around, with the boys in pink smashing a solid seven sixes in the last 4.4 overs.
“We probably gave him a few too many easy balls, a few too many slot balls if you like,” Ponting said. “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.”
And then there was the dreaded dew.”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,” the Delhi Capitals coach remarked.”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.”
In a game like IPL, Ponting reckons ‘even a couple of bad balls’ or a single spotty over makes all the difference in how the match turns around.The Delhi Capitals will play their next match against Punjab Kings on Sunday, April 18th.
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