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‘I was almost embarrassed with our first half of the game today’ – Ricky Ponting after DC’s 106-run defeat versus KKR

Rishabh Pant and Ricky Ponting. (Photo Source: DC)

Delhi Capitals (DC) head coach Ricky Ponting said that he was “embarrassed” with the performance of his team in the first half of their clash against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday, April 3.

The Capitals conceded 88 runs in the first six overs against the rampaging Knights after Shreyas Iyer won the toss and opted to bat first. Eventually, the two-time champions registered the second-highest total in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL) as they amassed 272/7 in their 20 overs.

After the defeat, Ponting highlighted the indiscipline shown by the Delhi bowlers, who bowled a plethora of extras. The former Australia captain also spoke about the slow over-rate maintained by the team, which led to skipper Rishabh Pant being fined INR 24 Lakhs.

“It’s pretty hard to assess right now. I mean I was almost embarrassed with our first half of the game today. To concede that many runs…we bowled 17 wides and it took us two hours to bowl our overs as well, so we were two overs behind again, which means the guys bowling the last two overs only get to bowl with four fieldsmen outside the circle,” said Ponting at the post-match press conference as quoted by Cricbuzz.

“Lot of things happened in this game that were unacceptable and a lot of things we will talk as a group tonight that we have to fix immediately to go forward in the competition. There will be some good open discussions in the changing room for sure,” he added.

Pant also missed taking a couple of reviews which cost the Capitals big time. In the fourth ball of the fourth over, Ishant Sharma was confident that Sunil Narine had got an edge. The discarded Indian pacer tried to coax Pant into taking the review. The wicketkeeper-batter did eventually signal for the review but by then, the 15 seconds were already exhausted. 26 runs came off that over and Narine was eventually dismissed for 85 off 39 balls in the 13th over. Later, KKR skipper Shreyas Iyer edged a delivery from Rasikh Salam when he was batting on three but Pant gestured that he didn’t hear anything and decided against going for the review. However, Ponting didn’t wish to read too much into this and instead, said that the slow over-rate offence was the bigger concern for his team.

“I haven’t had a chance to talk to Rishabh about those. I mean, obviously, Rishabh hasn’t heard them, other fielders and bowlers did hear something on both occasions. But look, at the end of the day, they are little things. There are other bigger concerns for us with the way we bowled, some of the field placings we had set and just how long it’s taking us to get around,” said Ponting.

“We can’t afford to do that, no other team is doing that. We have been two overs down two games in a row, that’s more than 10 minutes down going into the last couple of overs of a bowling innings. It probably didn’t cost us today because they’d have gotten 250 anyway but going forward in the tournament, it will definitely cost us something if we can’t fix it,” he added.

Also Read: IPL 2024: Shah Rukh Khan gives warm hug to Gautam Gambhir after KKR’s massive win versus DC

They were relentless, the way they kept going at us after that start: Ricky Ponting

Ponting noted that KKR didn’t allow Delhi to get back into the game after the flying start they got off to in the powerplay. The legendary cricketer praised young Angkrish Raghuvanshi for his 54-run knock off 27 balls in what was his maiden IPL innings and said that it allowed Andre Russell, who scored 41 off 19 balls to come out all guns blazing.

“The start didn’t help. Even thinking about the first ball of the game. They got off to a flying start in the powerplay, they were 90 maybe at the end of first six overs. So that phase is not ideal. If that happens at the start of a game, you are always trying to fight your way back into the game. They didn’t allow us to do that today. They were relentless, the way they kept going at us after that start,” Ponting stated.

“I thought the youngster at No.3 (Angkrish Raghuvanshi) played really well and that allowed Russ (Andre Russell) and all those guys to play the way they always play. And they had wickets in hand, so they can keep going hard. They did lots of things really well but we got to be really critical of ourselves, on our own performances, and we got to look at ways to get better for the next game,” he added.

Also Read: IPL 2024: Delhi Capitals’ 2nd Innings Highlights against KKR in Match 16

Chasing the improbable 273-run target, the Capitals were bowled out for 166 inside 18 overs. Pant and Tristan Stubbs scored half-centuries to reduce the margin of defeat. KKR climbed to the top of the points table with this win. Meanwhile, DC find themselves placed at No. 9, just above Mumbai Indians.

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