Ponting in no mood to give up yet, says DC can beat any team

New Delhi, May 6 (PTI) Delhi Capitals face a must-win situation in their remaining three games to stay in the hunt for a play-off berth but head coach Ricky Ponting is confident that if Rishabh Pant and Co. can play their best cricket for 40 overs, they will be hard to beat.

DC have been inconsistent in the ongoing IPL so far, winning five and losing six of their last 11 games.

While winning the remaining three games is a must for DC, even that will only take them to 16 points which might not be enough to qualify for the last four stage. Apart from KKR (16 from 11 games) and RR (16 from 10 games), there are at least three teams — Chennai Super Kings (12 from 11), Sunrisers Hyderabad (12 from 10 games) and Lucknow Super Giants (12 from 11 games), who can go beyond the 16-point mark.

“Our last performance against Kolkata wasn’t one of our best, but we’re back home now. We’ve won two of our three games here,” Ponting said on the eve of their match against Rajasthan Royals here.

“We know we’re coming up against a very good Rajasthan side, but as we’ve seen in the tournament so far if we can play our best cricket for 40 overs, then I’ll guarantee that we’ll be hard to beat. It doesn’t matter who we play or where we play them. We know that we can beat anybody.”

“We are keeping an eye on things. We find ourselves in a situation where we most likely have to win our last three games to qualify. We had a slow start but really proud of what the boys have done in the last 6-7 games,” he added.

Ponting also cleared the air on veteran pacer Ishant Sharma and David Warner’s fitness status, confirming that the former is fit for selection on Tuesday.

“They both trained yesterday. In fact, Ishant trained three of the last five days. He probably won’t bowl today. We’re pretty happy with what we’ve seen from him over the last couple of days with his bowling. As of now, he’s fit for selection,” the Australian legend said.

“David Warner had a few days off. He also did some batting yesterday in the nets for about 20 minutes. He’ll go through his final paces today. He’s still yet to be fit, but from what I saw yesterday, he’s a whole lot better than he was a few days ago.”

Ponting feels the pitch will be on the slower side on Tuesday.

“Tomorrow, we go on to a wicket that we have used. It was a wicket that was used against the Sunrisers, which was a high-scoring game. We expect this one tomorrow will probably be a little bit slower. It might just give a little bit more to the spinners,” he said.

Meanwhile, Rajasthan Royals fast bowling coach Shane Bond was mighty impressed with Sanju Samson’s leadership qualities and his performance with the bat in the ongoing edition.

“I am really impressed obviously coming into this team for the first time. It’s been fantastic, he (Samson) is a fun guy. I think what he has been learning for the couple of years is managing his time, managing his energy.

“IPL is an energy-sapping competition, specially the backend and it’s exciting to see his leadership. He has played beautifully and I am happy that he has been selected in the T20 World Cup squad,” the former New Zealand pacer said.

RR have been impressive in the ongoing IPL, winning eight out of their 10 games so far and stand in the second position in the points table.

“We only lost 2 games in the tournament so we understand we are a tough team to beat. Credit to the boys they played beautifully throughout the tournament,” Bond said.

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