Delhi Daredevils (DD) are all set to kickstart their journey in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) on April 8. The franchise has invested a good amount to rope in a bunch of youngsters for this season who are sweating it out in the nets under the guidance of former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting. He was a part of the DD think tank during the auctions and now he’s guiding youngsters to play in their own way with only one motive in their heads ie, win games for the team.
Meanwhile, Shreyas Iyer and all-rounder Vijay Shankar interacted with media personnel at their home ground, Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium and spoke about Ponting’s way of training the boys.
“He is aggressive and he’s got a positive frame of mind. On day 1 when he spoke to us, it boosted us a lot and we all had goosebumps. It gave rise to the team as we have a lot of youngsters in our side and they like freedom. He suddenly showed up and made us feel that we have got total freedom and we can go express ourselves.”
— Delhi Daredevils (@DelhiDaredevils) April 2, 2018
“When I say aggression, it gets freedom as well. He [Ricky Ponting] asks to play our own game. We don’t have to particularly change our technique. He got his own way of preparing the youngsters. It has been a few days he joined us. There is a lot to learn from him. He said we are here to win. His frame of mind was naturally about winning. He just wants us to win.”
The first few days of training and the players are gearing up for the season ahead!
— Delhi Daredevils (@DelhiDaredevils) April 1, 2018
When asked to compare Ponting with the former DD coach Rahul Dravid, Iyer said,
“Both are equally good in their own ways. Rahul Dravid is more calm and cool. He likes to be in the process, nurture the kids and grooming the youngsters. Ricky Ponting is obviously opposite but they have the same frame of mind.”
— Delhi Daredevils (@DelhiDaredevils) March 30, 2018
DD is the only side to not have reached the finals yet in any of the IPL seasons. On being asked about the expectations from this season, Vijay Shankar said,
“It’s a very good team we have right now. We have played alongside with most of them for a very long time now. And we know most of them so. It’s an advantage that we have a good rapport and we have been practising together. It will be interesting for us to do well in the matches until we reach the top.”
After Zaheer Khan said goodbye to cricket, DD were in search of an eligible candidate to guide this pack. They got Gautam Gambhir back in the squad after 8 years, once Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) released him. He has won two IPL trophies for KKR in the past and thus, DD fans and owners will expect a good show from the team under his leadership.