Tue, 20 Oct 2020

Dubai [UAE], September 19 (ANI): Ahead of the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), head coach Ricky Ponting feels that having Ajinkya Rahane in the squad has given Delhi Capitals more depth in the batting line up.

Delhi Capitals will take on Kings XI Punjab in their opening game of the tournament on September 20. Ponting said that they have done every bit of research on Kings XI Punjab.

"We have done most of our planning and research on Kings XI leading up to this first game. One thing I say about IPL is that every squad is really strong. We can talk about how strong our team is, but I can guarantee that you can say the same thing about every other team," Ponting said in a virtual press conference.

"With Rahane also in the mix, we think we've got a really balanced squad of players. There's a lot of competition for spots and lots of flexibility. He gives us more depth to our batting and with the rest of the players in fine fettle, we think we've got lots of flexibility there," the former Australian skipper added.

UAE pitches are generally on the slower side. Ponting said that "seamers will have an impact during the early stages of the tournament" but "it will spin later as the season progresses.""With only three venues and like 24 games in each stadium and only 4 wickets being used, 5 or more matches will be played on one pitch, so I think we can expect the conditions to change quite a bit," he said.

Under head coach Ponting, the side did enter the playoffs last season, but a loss to Chennai Super Kings saw them return home without the trophy. But there were sparks on display and if they are anything to go by, DC will be one team to look out for this season in UAE"We learned some lessons last year that if we turn up 100% prepared to play and committed to our tasks and plans, we think we will be really hard to beat," said Ponting"You know it's been a long lead-up to this first game, but I'm looking forward to the challenge, as I'm sure all the players also are. I expect that we will start the tournament strong tomorrow, he added.

The 13th edition of the league starts today, with CSK locking horns with Mumbai Indians in the tournament opener. (ANI)

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