Delhi Capitals’ head coach Ricky Ponting is keen to get his squad on the field as they seek their maiden IPL trophy this year. Ricky Ponting, who is one of the most successful IPL coaches, will hope for the franchise to go two steps ahead than the last time. The Tasmanian, who was part of the first-ever T20 international, has opened up on the evolution of the shortest format.
The Indian Premier League (IPL) has undeniably been a significant landmark in the arena of T20 cricket. The IPL came into being one year after India won the maiden T20 World Cup, thus paving the way for the shortest format to pick up the pace. At present, most batsmen have resorted to the slam-bang style of cricket in the white-ball version, leaving the traditional cricket behind.
The IPL has grown well in stature over the years as other cricketing boards have also unveiled their T20 tournaments of their own. The likes of Big Bash League, Mzansi Super League, Pakistan Super League, and Bangladesh Premier League are some of those to develop or nurture the young talents in the nation. Some of the players of the associate nations have grown as match-winners, owing to the T20 leagues.
“Batting is becoming a lot more like baseball” : Ricky Ponting
Ricky Ponting highlighted that the best T20 players like David Warner, Virat Kohli, AB De Villiers, and Steve Smith play conventional and unconventional shots. He added that these cricketers play square of the wicket off the front and back foot, backing themselves to the clear the fence in the death overs too.
“If you think through the very best T20 players in the world right now, they do have a great mix of the conventional and the unconventional (shots). Virat Kohli still plays a beautiful cover drive. AB de Villiers does play beautiful cover drives. Steven Smith, David Warner – these guys still hit beautiful shots square of the wicket (off) the front foot and back. They have the ability, probably later in the innings, to clear the boundary line as well,” Ponting told Indian Express.
Ricky Ponting further stated that a player like Rishabh Pant has more unorthodox shots under his belt and go aerial, which is his role. The former Australian skipper cited the examples of Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw, who play both conventional and unconventional shots and showed that such players have room too. He concluded this part by saying that T20 format has become majorly power-based, gradually transforming into baseball.
“Someone like Rishabh Pant, he has got slightly more unconventional shots. A lot of his shots are more aerial. But that’s the role he plays in our team. If you think about someone like Shikhar (Dhawan) or Prithvi Shaw, they are mixing the conventional with the unconventional as well. So, there’s still room for those types of players. The T20 game, or the white-ball game, has become so much more power-based now, batting is becoming a lot more like baseball,” the 45-year old added.