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Ricky Ponting Reflects On Bond With "Elder Statesman" Of DC Pace Attack, Ishant Sharma

05:49 PM May 15, 2024 IST | 8PM News Desk
ricky ponting reflects on bond with  elder statesman  of dc pace attack  ishant sharma
Ricky Ponting reflects on bond with "elder statesman" of DC pace attack, Ishant Sharma

New Delhi: Delhi Capitals (DC) and India pace veteran Ishant Sharma and head coach Ricky Ponting reflected on their bond following the team's 19-run win over Lucknow Super Giants (LSG), with the Australian acknowledging the 35-year-old as an "elder statesman" of franchise's bowling attack, praising him for his fierceness and ability to reinvent himself.

Ishant continued his fine run in the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), delivering a 'Player of the Match' performance with his spell of 3/34 in his side's victory, getting wickets of skipper KL Rahul, Quinton de Kock and Deepak Hooda. In nine matches so far, Ishant has taken 10 wickets at an average of 26.50 and an economy rate of 9.81. His strike rate with the ball is 16.20 and the best bowling figures are 3/34.

Reflecting on his bond with Ishant, Ponting recalled how once back in 2008 during a Test match against India at Perth, a teenager Ishant, playing his fourth Test, troubled him with his swing and bounce before pocketing his wicket in a preserving spell that is still talked about till this day.

"We were fierce competitors on the field as you would expect a young Indian fast bowler early on in his Test career trying to pull up a fight. He gave me a bit of a working one day at the WACA before he eventually got me out. It has been a pleasure to coach and work with him. He is a great guy, we have actually become very close. We have great respect for one another. He is been a terrific leader of this bowling attack for the last four to five years."

Ponting said that he looks at Ishant as the "elder statesman" of the bowling attack and talked about how the bowling coach James Hopes has worked so much with him, especially on his slower deliveries which helped him get KL out.

"I have loved every minute of working with him, I think of him as an elder statesman of our bowling attack. There might be guys quicker and younger, but it is important for the seniors to own those leadership roles. James Hopes has done great work with him. He got Virat out, now KL with a slower ball he has been working on for the last two weeks. There is a saying that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks, well you can," he said.

Ishant also said that the bond between him and Ponting is not of coach and player anymore, rather Ponting is like his big brother.

"He has always been there whenever I need him, I can call him anytime. I think it is very great to have him as a coach. If you have someone like him, he really pushes you to keep on trying new things and not be afraid if you do not do well. He always talks positively and about the team," said Ishant.

On changing with the times in T20 cricket, Ishant seemed to agree, saying, "You have to keep improving and keep adding new skills to your armoury."

Coming to the match, put to bat first by LSG, Delhi Capitals reached a total of 208/4 in their 20 overs, with fine fifties coming from Stubbs (57* in 25 balls, with three fours and four sixes) and Abhishek Porel (58* in 33 balls, with five fours and four sixes).
Naveen-ul-Haq (2/51) was the top bowler for LSG.

In the run-chase, LSG was reduced to 44/4. However, half-centuries from Nicholas Pooran (61 in 27 balls, with six fours and four sixes) and Arshad Khan (58* in 33 balls, with three fours and five sixes) kept LSG alive till the end. However, the fine death overs display from DC reduced LSG to 189/9 in their 20 overs.

Ishant Sharma (3/34) was the pick of the bowlers for DC.

DC has jumped to the fifth spot, ending the season with seven wins, seven losses and 14 points. LSG is at seventh with six wins, seven losses and 12 points. The playoff chances of these teams are dependent on other remaining fixtures.

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