Aussie legend and former skipper Ricky Ponting doesn’t care about Delhi Daredevils’ dismal record over 10 editions of IPL as he believes that the “fresh group” of players have it in them to win a maiden title this season.
Delhi reached semi-finals twice in their first three seasons and later one play-off during the 2012 season.
Speaking for the first time after his appointment as the head coach, Ponting promised an exciting brand of cricket from his team.
Besides captaining Australia to two World Cup titles, the 43-year-old has also tasted success in the IPL, winning it as a player in 2013 and coach in 2015 representing Mumbai Indians.
“I have told this to the management. I don’t care about the past. We have got a fresh group capable of winning the IPL. It is my job, management’s as well as the players to give the best crack possible. I can assure you the boys are going to be well prepared and if they can execute their plans on the field, there is no reason why we can’t win,” said Ponting in a media interaction.
Ponting symbolises the Australian way of playing the game hard and fair but feels the talk of Daredevils donning the all-out aggressive approach is overrated. Even the players have spoken about getting the taste of Ponting’s aggression.
“If they think I have been aggressive so far, I have not even started yet (drawing laughter). I have tried to be more motivational more than anything else. Tried to sort of get my point across that how important team culture and environment is,” said the coach, who joined the squad last week.
“I understand there is already a lot of talk about aggressive cricket just because I am the coach. Actually, we have not even spoken about it till now. We have spoken about playing high-intensity cricket with a never say die attitude. Anyway, when you talk about aggression, you mean whatever you can do to win games.”
He feels the Gautam Gambhir-led squad has an ideal mix of youth and experience. Both Ponting and Gambhir are known for their no holds barred approach on the field, and the Australian feels that will work in favour of the team.
“I think our natural instincts (is to play hard) is to get ourselves into a fight and hopefully win it. When I say fight, it is the battle on the field. We are both batsmen and want to win the competition against the bowlers, against the opposition. I love seeing that out in the players. We will balance ourselves each other really well. It will be nice if we are able to bestow that same spirit upon the players,” he said.
Sitting alongside Ponting, former KKR captain Gambhir too was excited about the season beginning Saturday.
“I started with Delhi and it is always great to come back to a place where you started. Hopefully we can the title this time, we have got the team that can win. Hopefully, I can finish my career here,” said the captain who led KKR to the title twice.
“It is a fresh start. The moment we start winning games, people will start believing in us,” he added.