IPL 2024: Ponting Admits He 'Almost Felt Embarrassed' With DC's Performance In First Half Of The Game Vs KKR


(MENAFN- IANS) Visakhapatnam, April 4 (IANS) Following Delhi Capitals (DC)' 106-run loss to Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the IPL 2024 match on Wednesday evening, head coach Ricky Ponting said he was left with a feeling of being almost embarrassed with his team's performance in the first half of the game.

At the ACA-VDCA Stadium on Wednesday evening, Sunil Narine (85), Angkrish Raghuvanshi (54), Andre Russell (41) and Rinku Singh (26) produced blistering fireworks as KKR posted 272, the second-highest score in the history of the competition.

"It's pretty hard to assess right now. I mean I was almost embarrassed with our first half of the game. 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 last two overs only get to bowl with four fieldsmen outside the circle."

"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," said Ponting in the post-match press conference.

DC's bowlers were largely rendered ineffective by the combination of the KKR batters indulging in a fearless six-hitting spree, along with them majorly missing the stumps in their lines, apart from conceding extras in double-digits.

"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. They were relentless, the way they kept going at us after that start.

"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," added Ponting.

What also hurt DC was their captain Rishabh Pant being unable to take reviews on caught-behind appeals against Narine and KKR skipper Shreyas Iyer, with replays showing they would have been out. From a DC perspective, their non-review of Narine on 24 proved to be very costly.

"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," added Ponting.

DC also registered their second slow-over rate offence of the season, which meant Pant was fined INR 24 lakhs. If DC get another slow-over rate penalty against them, then it can lead to Pant's suspension for one match.

The rest of the members of DC's Playing XI in Wednesday's match, including the Impact Player, were each individually fined either INR 6 lakhs or 25 percent of their respective match fees, whichever is lesser. The slow-over rate offences are something which have also caught Ponting's eye.

"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," said the Australian.

In the match, Pant continued to build up on his positive return to competitive cricket by hitting five sixes and four boundaries in a 25-ball 55, his second consecutive fifty of the competition. In between, Pant was limping and needed the physio intervention before being dismissed by Varun Chakaravarthy, but Ponting thinks it was a case of cramps due to humid conditions.

"I saw he called the physio out. It might have just been a bit of tiredness. Looked like he was moving pretty well when he batted. I think we should just concentrate on the way he batted. I didn't see him hobbling at all after he called the physio out. I saw him doing a little bit of stretching, so there might be a little bit of cramp.

"Pleased for him, for what he did with the bat. A situation like that, where he had to go out and attack from the start is probably a scenario that he needed just to get some confidence back. He's actually had two good games with the bat now, which is great," concluded Ponting.

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