IPL 2020: How Delhi turned from Daredevils to the Capitals?

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IPL 2020: How Delhi turned from Daredevils to the Capitals?

08 Nov 2020 020 Views Cricket News

IPL 2020: The influence of the thinking cap of Ricky Ponting behind the rise of Delhi


Cricket is a game where the captain is held accountable for most things. Win or lose, he is the man who is responsible for the direction a team goes into. Coaches unlike in football, stay in the background and work in different capacities as per the team culture. In a country like India, a coach is supposed to be helping out the captain rather than working with him.

There's a thin line between helping and working with, and it has been formed after certain incidents. In a league like Indian Premier League, the work is even less, yet tough. In a two month T20 cricket league, you can't coach a team. You can only manage them. Something not everyone can. But Ricky Ponting is someone who has been able to portray that with firm belief and being a student of the game, one can achieve such results.

Bharat Army: Coach of Delhi Capitals Ricky ponting with the thinking cap on

(Image Credits: https://www.iplt20.com/photos)

The two time World cup-winning Australia captain was appointed as the head coach of the Delhi Daredevils team back in 2018. 10 years into the IPL T20, Delhi had not played a single IPL final. They had reached the last four on a few occasions. But hadn't been able to capitalize on the good league run in the knockout stages.

It was certain that the team was looking for cutting edge thinking. And there aren't better names who can provide the same as Ricky Ponting. As a player, Ponting was aware of the vibe around this carnival league. At the same time, he knew what it takes to create a champion team. That too in the toughest of atmospheres. Hence, he was trusted with the task of delivering.

He was given a great lot to work with. One can look at the DD squad of 2018 and ask again and again, how that team ended up at the bottom of the IPL standings? Glenn Maxwell, Jason Roy, Trent Boult, Chris Morris, Keemo Paul, Shikhar Dhawan, Mohammed Shami, Prithvi Shaw, Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer. And a veteran skipper in the form of the local lad, Gautam Gambhir.

Bharat Army: Gautam Gambhir portrait by a fan


There was a superb blend of experienced campaigners and exciting young talent. But it was the chemistry and the combination of these players which wasn't intact. But then came an event that acted as a catalyst in making the Delhi Daredevils, the Capitals. 

Gautam Gambhir gave up the captaincy after Delhi Daredevils got off to a horrendous start and decided to retire from the Indian Premier League as well. DD had lost five of their first six games. It was then that under the agreement of coach Ponting and the management 23-year old Shreyas Iyer was appointed as the captain. And that has been a key pointer in the Ricky Ponting guide to success. Banking on the young talent in tough times. More so in tough times. 

On his IPL captaincy debut, Shreyas Iyer smashed an unbeaten match-winning knock of 93 off 40 deliveries with 10 sixes, which was his third successive IPL fifty of the season to power DD to a heavy total of 219/5 in the first innings of the match before earning him the man of the match award.

Bharat Army: Shreyas Iyer captain of Delhi Capitals

(Image Credits: https://www.iplt20.com/photos)

But it was a win that signified the good times which were not yet near. Ponting knew this was just the start of something good for the most unsuccessful franchise in IPL history. Or at least, it was.

The 2018 season only had five wins in store for Delhi but a lot of takeaways as they kept hold of a core of young players backed by some big names in international cricket. 2019 was the real test for the team that had adopted a new system under the Ricky Ponting era. An era where faith in young players, as much as the experienced ones would yield the results. 

Bharat Army: Delhi Daredevils of the past

(Image Credits: https://www.iplt20.com/photos)

The problem with Delhi in the past wasn't the absence of big players or match winners. Not at all. They have had the likes of Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, AB de Villiers, Kevin Pietersen, Ross Taylor, Mahela Jayawardene, David Warner, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Daniel Vettori, Shikhar Dhawan, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Ashish Nehra, Zaheer Khan, Trent Boult play for them. Over different periods.

The problem for Delhi was young players not taking the stand or being given the chance to do so. You look at any team that won the IPL barring the exception of CSK in 2018, they've had exceptional performances being put up by their young players. But that can only happen when you give the youth chances.

And that is the formula where Ricky Ponting and the support staff have been supported well by the management over the last couple of years. In 2019, the Delhi team was looking new. Literally and figuratively as well. The franchise name had been changed, the colours had been changed, the IPL squad looked young and vibrant and the performances certainly were different. 

Delhi Capitals won nine out of 14 games in the IPL 2019 and were only beaten behind Chennai Superkings and Mumbai Indians on net run rate, which is why they qualified for the eliminator. They lost to CSK in the Qualifier 2. Whether they would have done it had they qualified in the top two is just another classic 'what if' to live with. But look at how they won their games.

Players like Prithvi Shaw, Rishabh Pant, and the captain himself, Shreyas Iyer were winning 2-3 games in the season on their own. A sign of the progress that had been made within a year of trusting the young guns to deliver. 

Bharat Army: Shikhar Dhawan

(Image Credits: https://www.iplt20.com/photos)

Being led by a young captain and surrounded by young core can be often tricky for big names. But those at Delhi have been part of a fabulous atmosphere which has been created around them. Someone like Shikhar Dhawan has gelled in brilliantly with the newbies of the Indian cricket team. Which is beautiful to witness as Indian cricket fans when it brings the results. 

In IPL 2020, DC were pitted to make it in the top two from the start, and they have. Despite a few hiccups, in the end, they have managed to get into the top two. More detailed additions were made into the team such as bringing in the likes of Anrich Nortje, Marcus Stoinis, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shimron Hetmyer to fill in key positions has been impressive work done by the DC management. And behind all of that has been a somewhat less active but always involved Ricky Ponting. 

As we said before, the work of a coach in a setting like IPL is to manage rather than teach. Which is something that Ricky and the supports staff have done brilliantly.  

It is intriguing, to say the least, that players like Shaw and Pant haven't been able to perform this season, the way they have in the past. But as Delhi prepare themselves for the big-ticket game against Hyderabad one thing must be kept in mind, how they made it to where they are today. All of that which has been written in one man's diary.

(This article has been brought to you by cricketnews.com)

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