New Delhi [India]: Australia batting great and current Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting on Thursday named two prospects from his side he believes will prosper.
Ponting expects young India star Yash Dhull to build on the performances that saw him named captain of the Team of the Tournament at last year’s ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup and predicted emerging all-rounder Aman Khan as another player that may have a breakout event. “Yash Dhull, the ex-India U19 captain has had a really good domestic season and I am hoping that he gets some good opportunity to play for Delhi Capitals through this season,” said Ponting on the latest episode of ICC Review.
“The other one is Aman Khan whom we traded from Kolkata (Knight Riders) for Shardul Thakur. He has been ultra-impressive in everything that he has done so far in our training camps and when we played our first practice game the other night he dominated that. I think he made 72 not out of about 38 balls and he is big, tall, strong and powerful.”
“I do not know what a lot of the other squads have got as far as young talent is concerned, but I know we have got a couple here that are very, very good and we are hoping to be able to showcase them as the season goes on,” concluded Ricky.
Yash was the skipper of Indian U-19 side which won its fifth title last year. He played four matches in the tournament, scoring 229 runs at an average of 76.33, with one century and fifty. His best individual score in the tournament was 110.
Since then, he has made a name for himself in Delhi’s first-class cricket scene. In 15 matches, he has scored 1,145 runs at an average of 49.78 across 25 innings. He has scored four centuries and an equal number of fifties, with the best score of 200*. With 363 runs in eight matches with three fifties at an average of 72.60 and a strike rate of 131.52, Dhull also is building a solid T20 record for himself.
Aman has also played 14 T20Is, in which he has scored 153 runs at a strike rate of over 166, with the best score of 39*. He also has four wickets in the format.
Ponting also provided his thoughts on the teams that will prove hardest to beat.
Ponting will lead a new-look Capitals squad into battle over the eight-week tournament, with Australia veteran David Warner captaining the franchise in the absence of regular skipper Rishabh Pant.
And while Ponting is hoping the Capitals will be able to build on their fifth-placed finish in 2022, Australia great acknowledged just how evenly matched most of the teams are and believes this year’s event is the most open for some time.
“It is a tough question…as very rarely does a team dominate the IPL from the start to the finish,” said Ponting.
“Obviously Gujarat (Titans) last year were amazing, a brand new team and were able to win the tournament.
“The other finalist last year, Rajasthan Royals, I think have got a really, really good squad. And we said that last year, immediately after the auction, we were pretty impressed with what they were able to do and put a good squad together. They have only built on that again this year. I think Rajasthan will be there, thereabouts.”
“It is a hard game to judge and a hard game to understand who is going to win. Who stands up in the moment will generally win more often than not. But if I am looking at the squads, Rajasthan has got a good squad as anybody,” concluded Ponting.
Ponting believes the new playing conditions that have been introduced for this year’s edition of the IPL will take some time to get used to and the Delhi coach said he was keen to see how opposition coaches adjust prior to his team’s first match against the Lucknow Super Giants on Saturday.
Teams do not have to announce their playing XIs until after the toss this year and can name four players as substitutes and can use one as an Impact Player during a match.
“I like what they (tournament organisers) are trying to do by trying to get more involvement in the game and get different players involved in the game and I am interested to see how it works,” Ponting said.
“Different teams are going to use the impact player in different ways and I am really intrigued to see how that will work. Let us wait and see. It’s a nice innovation and it is definitely going to give a lot more work to the coaches once the game starts.”
“I mean, normally as a coach, once the game is started, there is not much you can do to influence the outcome of the game. But with this. I think there is some significant ways that you can tactically influence the game. I know the captain is the only one that can activate the impact player but the coaches will be doing most of the thinking on the sideline and passing information to the captain,” concluded Ponting.
Delhi Capitals will kickstart their IPL campaign against Lucknow Super Giants from April 1. DC will play their first home game against Gujarat Titans on April 4 at Arun Jaitley Stadium, Delhi.
In the previous season, Delhi Capitals had finished at the fifth position in the points table with seven wins and an equal number of losses with a total of 14 points. They narrowly missed out on a playoff spot.
Delhi Capitals earlier had announced David Warner as captain for the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League. Warner has stepped in for Rishabh Pant. All-rounder Axar Patel was been named the team’s vice-captain. The franchise also announced former India captain Sourav Ganguly as the franchise’s Director of Cricket. Ganguly has been associated with Delhi Capitals in the past too, in the role of mentor, during the 2019 season.
Delhi Capitals squad strength: 25 players (Overseas 8)
Players bought in IPL 2023 auction: Ishant Sharma (Rs 50 lakh), Phil Salt (Rs 2 crore), Mukesh Kumar (Rs 5.5 crore), Manish Pandey (Rs 2.4 crore), Rilee Rossouw (Rs 4.60 crore).
Players retained – Rishabh Pant (c), David Warner, Prithvi Shaw, Ripal Patel, Rovman Powell, Sarfaraz Khan, Yash Dhull, Mitchell Marsh, Lalit Yadav, Axar Patel, Anrich Nortje, Chetan Sakariya, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Khaleel Ahmed, Lungi Ngidi, Mustafizur Rahman, Aman Khan, Kuldeep Yadav, Praveen Dubey, Vicky Ostwal.