The 14th edition of the IPL like all others promises to be an absolute thriller. As the tournament progresses many players young as well as experienced players play fabulously which helps their team perform better and better. The former Australian Captain and current Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting picked out one player from each team (barring Delhi) who he believes will be the one to watch out for.
Ricky Ponting started with CSK and said that Suresh Raina will be a standout player this season for the men in yellow. Suresh Raina who had missed the IPL last season has returned to the side and is expected to go after the bowlers. Ricky Ponting also said that the return of Suresh Raina adds stability to CSK’s batting lineup.
“He’s (Suresh Raina) one of the leading run-scorers in IPL history and he plays a really important role for Chennai Super Kings in the middle order. Just his experience and the partnerships that him and (MS) Dhoni and Faf (du Plessis) and a lot of their senior players have created has been a reason the Chennai Super Kings have been one of the really powerful teams in IPL history,” Ponting told cricket.com.au.
Ricky Ponting picked Varun Chakravarthy, the mystery spinner as a key player for KKR. He said that the variations that Varun Chakravarthy offers really keep the batsman guessing and it will be tough to judge his variations as he can vary his pace well.
“He’s (Varun Chakravarthy) a classic mystery spinner… he bowls an off-spinner, he bowls a googly, he bowls a leg-spinner and he bowls a carrom ball that he flicks out the front of his hand. So he’s got the variations on his deliveries, but he’s also got a lot of pace variations as well. So he’ll start in the mid-80s (kph) with his speed and he can push it up to 110kph with the quicker one. He was a real find for them last year,” added Ponting.
Ricky Ponting’s picks from other teams
The Delhi Capitals head coach picked Hardik Pandya as the player to watch out for from the Mumbai Indians. Hardik Pandya who has been instrumental in Mumbai’s success over the years has started bowling again this year which makes him really vital for his team.
“He’s just an out-and-out power player now and he’s probably 75 kilos ringing wet, but he can bowl 140kph and he’s one of the best strikers of the cricket ball going around – he’s just a complete all-round package. I’m actually keeping my fingers crossed we get to see more of him at Test level,” Ponting said of Pandya.
Ricky Ponting rated Nicholas Pooran rated the wicket-keeper batsman Nicholas Pooran extremely high and said that he can be the differentiating factor for the Punjab Kings as he really strengthens their middle order. He also added that Punjab has made some decent changes to their lineup and is expected to perform well this year.
“He’s a very, very good player and someone that will be in huge demand for years to come in these T20 tournaments. The Kings XI have done well this year, with him there and their (recently added) fast bowlers Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith both going there, it gives them a huge amount of firepower,” he added while speaking about Pooran.
From the rest of the franchises, the Delhi coach picked young Devdutt Padikkal who was the stand-out performer for RCB last season and certainly took the tournament by storm scoring 473 runs in his debut season itself. He also said that T Natarajan who was the find of IPL 2020 picking 16 wickets will be a vital cog in an already strong Sunrisers Hyderabad bowling lineup. Other than that he picked the hard hitter Rahul Tewatia who single-handedly won matches for Rajasthan last season as their player to watch out for.