“It just came to the point, where yes, it was six games this season, but I think it was six or seven games at the back end of last season as well,” Ponting said on the eve of Capitals’ return fixture against Sunrisers. “I think it’s 13  games since Prithvi has made a fifty opening the batting for the Delhi Capitals, which, if you look throughout the tournament, there are a lot of other players at the top of the order with other teams that are playing a whole lot better than Prithvi.”
“We needed to find a bit of a spark at the top of the order, and Phil Salt moved there in the last game – that didn’t quite work as well,” Ponting said. “So yeah, Prithvi, absolutely, at his absolute best we know he is a match-winner. That’s one of the reasons that he is a retained player here at the Delhi Capitals, because we know that if he bats a certain amount of balls, we win about 95% of the games, but so far this season he hasn’t been able to produce.
“I think the six games that he played, it was just over 40-odd runs, averaging about 7 or 8, so that’s not what we require right now. So it was a tough decision to leave him out, but hopefully, the team that we put on the park tomorrow can win another game for us.”
“We know that if he bats a certain amount of balls, we win about 95% of the games, but so far this season he hasn’t been able to produce”
Ponting on Shaw
Ponting was surprised by Shaw’s poor returns in IPL 2023 – he had felt at the start of the season that Shaw was shaping up well, both from a fitness and work-ethic perspective, to score heavily.
“It’s not difficult to have the conversation, because that’s what my job is,” Ponting said when asked about communicating the decision to drop Shaw. “When guys are not performing, or even when they are performing, it’s my job to have good, honest, open, adult conversations with all the players, and nothing’s different with Prithvi. I talk the same way to him as I talk to any guys that are scoring runs.
“But as it sort of worked out, when he arrived this year, he had been at the NCA [National Cricket Academy] for quite a few weeks, he had been working really hard on his fitness. He turned up in good physical shape, and his work ethic and training and everything he did in the nets suggested to me that this might be just that big year for him.
“We know what sort of talent he is, everyone’s seen him play. It’s up to us, as a team, to find a way to get the best out of him.”
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