Delhi Capitals all-rounder Axar Patel revealed head coach Ricky Ponting’s words of encouragement ahead of their match against Punjab Kings (PBKS). Despite being hit with the COVID-19 precarious situation, Delhi Capitals exploded against PBKS on Wednesday with an emphatic nine-wicket triumph at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.
A couple of days ago Capitals were unsure to play their fixture against Punjab as five members including all-rounder Mithcell Marsh returned COVID positive.
The incident forced the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to shift the match from Pune to Mumbai in order to avoid any further contraction due to any undetected case during a long-distance bus journey in a closed environment.
Delhi Capitals crush Punjab Kings amid COVID tense
Just ahead of the match, New Zealand player Tim Seifert became the sixth member of the Delhi Capitals contingent to catch the dreadful virus. But the Capitals didn’t seem to disturb by all the events that transpired before the game.
The moment Rishabh Pant and his men stepped on the field, the total distress vanished in thin air. Pant won the toss and elected to field first as Capitals’ strong-willed bowling unit bowled Punjab Kings out for 115.
Khaleel Ahmed, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, and Lalit Yadav each picked two wickets on what was called a sticky surface. But on the same pitch, Delhi Capitals openers David Warner and Prithvi Shaw got the team to a frolicking start with 81 runs in the powerplay as they chased the mere target in just 10.3 overs with the loss of Shaw.
Ricky Ponting told us to show commitment with regard to the effort and preparation: Axar Patel
Axar, who claimed 2/10 in the match, said Ponting told the team to fully commit to the game and not bother about external factors that were beyond their control.
“We were quarantined and we started practice two to three days after that, he (Ponting) told us we have two options. We have to play the match. You can think that there are positive cases, and the preparations aren’t done.
“Or you can think all outside things are not in our hands and you should show commitment with regard to the effort and preparation,” Axar said in the post-match press conference.
Delhi Capitals will play against Rajasthan Royals on Friday (April 22) at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.