IPL 2021: DC coach Ricky Ponting calls Shreyas Iyer ‘World class player’

Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting is delighted to have Shreyas Iyer back for the remaining fixtures of IPL 2021. He called him a ‘World-class player’ and said that he will not put the pressure on him from day 1. Notably, Iyer will make his comeback after a big gap of 5 months.

“Oh, it’s great (to have him back). I mean it’s, you talk about smiling faces and people that have got sort of infectious attitudes. And he’s certainly got that! I have been talking to him a lot. His training has been great. He’s probably one that we have to slow down a little bit. I mean he’s so keen to get back into it and get back on the field and play and score runs and win. I don’t want to push him too hard too early and we get to the first game and he’s a little bit tired. So, we’ll just keep him in check. But, you know, he’s a world-class player. He’s going to add a lot to our team, no doubt about that,” Ricky Ponting said.

Ponting also expressed that he’s thrilled to join the unit in Dubai for the second half of the IPL 2021, which is set to begin on Sunday. The Australian said that the players have shown great intensity during the pre-season camp.

“I have been waiting for four months to come back to the Delhi Capitals camp. I have such a great time when I work with the team and it’s a great time in my calendar year. I have been keeping a close eye on what’s been happening here. I have been speaking to the coaching staff here and they have done a great job so far (in the pre-season camp). You can see with the intensity and the attitude shown by the players that it’s been a really worthwhile camp so far. I am really excited about what we’ve got coming up in the next four-five weeks,” said the 46-year-old as per a DC release.

Ponting added that the team’s performance in the first half of the IPL 2021 season doesn’t matter and that the side will have to re-build once again.

“It doesn’t matter what we’ve done in the first half of the season. It’s been four months since when we played some really good cricket, so we really have to start again. We have to build ourselves as we go along in the tournament and make sure that we are playing our best cricket at the back end of the tournament. Our performance in the first half of the tournament was because of how well we played and how hard we worked, but I don’t think we played our best cricket,” said the head coach.

The 14th season, which was postponed in May this year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, will resume on September 19 in Dubai with a blockbuster clash between Chennai Super Kings and defending champions Mumbai Indians.

The action will then shift to Abu Dhabi where Kolkata Knight Riders will square off against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Sharjah will host its first game on September 24 when Royal Challengers Bangalore take on Chennai Super Kings.

In all, 13 matches will be held in Dubai, 10 in Sharjah, and 8 in Abu Dhabi.