Cricket fans are once again questioning the leadership of Ricky Ponting and David Warner after the Delhi Capitals slumped to their sixth loss of the IPL season on Saturday. Mitch Marsh produced a brilliant all-round display against Sunrisers Hyderabad, taking four wickets and blasting 63 off just 39 balls.
But his heroics weren't enough to prevent the Capitals from suffering yet another loss that has seen them rooted to the bottom of the IPL ladder at 2-6. Fans have been left fuming over the disappointing showing from the powerhouse team - led by Australians Warner (captain), Ponting (coach) and Shane Watson (assistant coach).
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Ponting came in for particular scrutiny on Saturday after dropping the out-of-form Privthi Shaw, before failing to send Axar Patel up the order when the game was slipping away. Chasing 198 for victory, the Capitals were 1-0 when Warner chopped on for a duck and slumped to 4-125 when Marsh was dismissed.
But with 69 required off the final 36 balls, Ponting opted against sending in the big-hitting Patel and kept him at his usual spot of No.7. Manish Pandey, Priyam Garg and Sarfaraz Khan were all sent in ahead of Patel, making one, 12 and nine respectively.
By the time Patel got to the crease the Capitals needed 68 off 26, and he proceeded to blast 29 not out off just 14 balls. However his efforts went in vain as the Capitals ran out of balls and finished at 6-188.
Fans were highly critical of Ponting's decision to keep Patel in the sheds for so long considering the required run-rate. One pundit wrote on Twitter: "How can Delhi Capitals have Ricky Ponting and Saurav Ganguly, two of the best captains ever in their support staff but still don't have the brains to send Axar Patel up in the batting order? I don't even know what went through their brain."
Another wrote: "Is it okay to fire a whole coaching staff mid-season? Likes of Ponting, Ganguly, Agarkar, Watson, Hopes, Amre in the coaching staff and they still sent Pandey, Priyam and Sarfaraz over Axar. That too when the opposition spinners were bowling."
Others described the tactical blunder as 'terrible' and 'pathetic', with many lashing out on social media.
Will say from now that I belong to NCR region as #Daredevil busted our Capital name into Ashes..
Poor management team led by players who don't know the T of t20 and they are giving coaching.
— Siddhart (@Siddhartsays) April 29, 2023
Is it okay to fire a whole coaching staff mid-season? Likes of Ponting, Ganguly, Agarkar, Watson, Hopes, Amre in the coaching staff and they still sent Pandey, Priyam and Sarfaraz over Axar. That too when the opposition spinners were bowling. #DCvSRH #IPL2023
— Shubh Aggarwal (@shubh_chintak) April 29, 2023
Warner once said in post match presentation that we should find a way to bat Axar in top 5 but Ricky Ponting there is not making things easy i think.
Ponting is a terrible coach.
— Srijan Chitransh (@ChitranshSrijan) April 29, 2023
In form Axar Patel is languishing down the order, wtf is exactly greats like Ganguly and Ponting doing in management???
If only u could send him bit early in last few matches, the results could have been different 😅
With such poor tactics, u are bound to lose #ipl #delhi #srh
— Om Chaudhary (@om_chaudhary56) April 29, 2023
How is a great captain like Ricky Ponting making such a mess at Delhi Capitals?
Especially with the batting, that's shocking for me..
Axar shouldn't be coming on this late with his form.. #DCvsSRH
— Jatin Khandelwal (@jr_khandelwal) April 29, 2023
The lack of common sense at DC is astounding. Came through in the first match when Sarfaraz kept wickets.
Still clueless about Axar’s batting ability.
It’s a franchise protecting its jobs. Shaw’a media lashing by Ponting, a new low #DCvsSRH
— Gaurav Sethi (@BoredCricket) April 29, 2023
Can't imagine with Ganguly and Ricky Ponting sitting in the dugout, axar the best batman of DC gets only 14 balls score run at a strike rate of over 200 and still loses the match by 9 runs for not getting sufficient deliveries.
Pathetic in plain and simple English.
— Sushabhan biswas (@nonphysics) April 29, 2023
Mitch Marsh heroics in vain as Capitals lose again
Marsh did more than anyone with his terrific 4-27 with the ball, and then more than doubled his season's tally of runs in a spectacular knock featuring six sixes and a four. However it all went for nought as the Capitals' misery continued.
"There's a reason why the IPL is the best tournament in the world. It's bloody hard to win games," sighed Marsh, who ended up watching his side fall nine runs short.
"Close games can define your season. Unfortunately, we've been on the wrong end of a few, but our spirits are high. There's still a long way to go in this tournament. We need to start winning but I hold a lot of belief in this group."
Warner said of Marsh's display: "Mitch bowled fantastic through the middle overs and was our best bowler, but coming up nine runs short is pretty disappointing."
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