Ponting justifies dropping Shaw and supporting Salt

Ponting justifies dropping Shaw and supporting Salt

Ponting justifies dropping Shaw and supporting Salt



Head coach Ricky Ponting has supported the team's decision to bench Prithvi Shaw from the starting XI in the last match against Sunrisers Hyderabad due to his recent poor performance and Delhi Capitals' initial struggles. The Australian said, "While there's little doubt about my match-winning knock with the bat, it's not something DC can afford at the moment having started our season with five losses on the trot." His comments, made ahead of the rematch in Delhi, all but confirmed that the 23-year-old would be spending more time on the bench.

The Capitals have overcome their bad luck in the IPL 2023 and have strung together two victories, but in their most recent match, Shaw, one of the team's four retainees ahead of the 2022 mega auction, was fired after posting scores of 13, 0, 15, 0, 7, and 12 (most-recent first) in his previous six appearances. The youthful starter had gone 12 innings without a fifty, according to Ponting, who emphasized that his slump began toward the close of the previous season. This "tough decision" was made by a team that is currently tenth in the rankings and is struggling to remain competitive.

Ponting told the media ahead of Saturday's reverse match against SRH, "Yes, it was six games this season but it was [also] six or seven games at the backend of the last season so it's 13 innings since Prithvi has made a fifty opening the batting for Delhi Capitals. If you look throughout the tournament, there are a lot of players at the top of the order with other teams who are playing a whole lot better than Prithvi.

In the first six games, DC's Shaw-Warner opening partnership scored just 142 goals in total, with the former even making a few impact substitutions. Their best opening partnership scored 41 goals against LSG in that game. Although Phil Salt, an Englishman, also nicked behind the first ball from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the Capitals promoted him to partner with David Warner in Hyderabad, offering no immediate relief. Despite the hiccup, Ponting was confident that he could give this new combination more time before ending it.

"Phil Salt was shifted to the top of the order last game, but that didn't work as well [laughs], so we needed to try and find a little of that spark there. We all know that Prithvi can win matches at his very best, which is one of the reasons the DC team decided to keep him on as a player. We are aware that if he bats a specific number of balls, we will win roughly 95% of the games. He has only managed 40 or so runs this season so far, averaging around 7 or 8, which is not enough for the situation at hand. The choice to exclude him was difficult, but perhaps the team we field tomorrow can win another match.

Ponting acknowledged that it was disappointing to see Shaw struggle to score runs in light of the high level of promise he displayed in the preseason in terms of both fitness and talent. The 48-year-old hasn't ruled out the possibility of the former India U19 World Cup-winning skipper making a strong comeback if such an opportunity arises for the same reason, perhaps.

It's not tough to talk to people because that's my job—I have nice, honest, open, and mature conversations with all the players, and Prithvi is no different. This is true whether the men are playing or not. He and all other runners-up receive the same treatment when I converse with them. Speaking of their conversation before the opening was fired, Ponting stated.

But as it turned out, he had been at the NCA for a number of weeks when he arrived this year, and he had been working extremely hard to improve his fitness. He arrived in good physical condition. And everything he performed in the nets, including his work, training, and other activities, gave me the impression that this may be his big year. In fact, I boldly declared on the record that I believed he would be one of our season's star performers. Although it hasn't yet succeeded, there is still a long way to go. There is no reason why he couldn't return to the squad if our current top-order doesn't work out, and if he does, perhaps he can finish the tournament strongly.

"Everyone has seen him play, so we know what kind of talent he has. It's up to us to work together to find a method to bring out the best in him.

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