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“We haven’t played our best cricket yet” says Delhi Capitals’ Ricky Ponting

Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting believes the team, which has registered six wins out of eight matches they have played so far in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL), hasn’t played their best cricket yet.

Capitals are currently placed at the number one spot in the points table and looks set to qualify for the playoffs.

“Yes, things are looking good at this stage of the season, but I’m never the one to try and look too far ahead because I know how quickly the IPL can turn around. We’ve seen teams in the past have six wins from their first six games, and then not go on to make the playoffs,” said Ponting ahead of their next game against Chennai Super Kings slated to be played on Saturday.

“So we’ll keep a lid on things, and I still think we’re six wins from eight games, but probably haven’t played our best cricket yet either,” he added.

The 45-year-old further said that he has been telling the players to focus more on playing best cricket in the back half of the tournament.

“One thing I’ve been telling the boys right from the start of this tournament is that I want us playing our best cricket in the back half of the tournament, not necessarily in the front-half of the tournament,” said the former Australian skipper.

“So we’ll keep working towards that and towards the perfect game, but right now there’s a really good feel around the group and when you have that along with a good (team) environment, you tend to win a lot of games. So we’ll keep focusing on that and making sure that our planning and preparation is good, and that the results come our way,” he added.

Commenting on what he makes of the challenge that Chennai will throw at his side, Ponting said they won’t be taking the three-time champions lightly.

“We’ve played every team once and Rajasthan twice now, and Chennai also the second time now. Look, you can’t take anyone for granted in this tournament. They’ve been proven performers – they’ve probably been the best team in the IPL since day one, so when you’ve got guys like Watson, Dhoni, Jadeja and Faf in the side, you can’t take them lightly,” said the head coach.

Talking about the importance of keeping the focus, Ponting said: “I told the boys I just want to keep them switched on for another week – we have got to keep pushing hard for these next couple of games – We’ve got CSK and then KXIP. I don’t want us to get complacent and take things for granted at this stage of the tournament because things are going well.”

“I think when things are going well, it’s time to push that little bit harder, so that’s what we will be doing for the next week but right now all of us are looking forward to every challenge that comes our way, and we feel that if we play our best cricket, then we’re going to be hard to beat every game,” he added.

Speaking on the pitches on offer in the United Arab Emirates across the three venues, Ponting said, “The pitches have noticeably started to slow down a little bit – I think even the RR game with them not managing to chase 160 on these grounds (proved that). I think what we all felt when we came here was that maybe for the first half of the tournament, chasing might’ve been easier because of the bit of dew and also because of the little bit of more grass on the wickets – because we thought they’re going to preserve the wickets a little bit for the back half of the tournament, but chasing has been hard right from the start.”

“I think all the games we’ve won, we’ve actually won batting first. So I think that will continually get a bit tougher to bat on,” he added.

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