Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting said that his team didn’t bowl as well as they could have to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain MS Dhoni towards the end of the first Qualifier of the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) on Sunday but there is no doubt that the latter is one of the greatest finishers the game has ever seen. Dhoni turned back the clock on Sunday with an unbeaten 18 off six balls that took CSK over the line while chasing a target of 173.
“He has been one of the greats, don’t think there is any doubt there,” said Ponting of Dhoni in the post-match press conference.
“We were sitting in the dugout thinking if it will be (Ravindra) Jadeja or Dhoni coming next, I put my hand up straightaway and said I am pretty sure Dhoni will come out now and try and ice the game,” he said.
“We probably didn’t execute as well as we needed to him, and you know that if you miss, he is going to make you pay. He has done it for a long time now and I think our bowlers just missed their areas a little bit. I think when he is retired he will be remembered as one of the greatest finishers the game has ever seen,” said the former Australia captain.
Ponting said that he will be speaking to DC captain Rishabh Pant about getting Tom Curran to bowl the last over instead of Kagiso Rabada, who still had one more over left. Ponting, however, said that the discussion will be part of the usual process that they have after every match regardless of the result and he understood the decision to give Curran the ball considering how he had bowled before the final over.
Curran dismissed Moeen Ali off the first ball of the last over but got hit for three fours by Dhoni, which ended the match.
“I haven’t asked the captain that yet. Those calls are made on the field. Tom had bowled really well before that and done a good job so it’s down to the gut feel of the captain out in the middle. Rishabh obviously thought that Tom was the right man to bowl that last over on the back of how he had bowled in the game. It didn’t pay off for us, it will be a good learning process for Tom, how he can work better at closing that last over out,” said Ponting.
“We will have a debrief with the players and certainly have a chat with the captain about all the tactics because that is what we generally do. Win, lose or draw, we dig pretty deep into what we have done on the field and see if there is anything we could improve,” he said.