A very warm and humid Tuesday evening at the ICC Academy in Dubai saw Delhi Capitals train under their head coach Ricky Ponting for the very first time this season.
Speaking post a three-hour nets session, Ponting said the conditions were draining but his team was happy to be back together.
“The attitude from the start has been amazing, and today was no exception,” said the 45-year-old. “It was hot and quite draining for the players but coming off on the back of a good season last year, you would expect the mood to be upbeat – and I was delighted to see that and it felt awesome to be back in the team environment, and I think there’s no better place than to be in the Delhi Capitals camp at the moment.”
Ponting wants to make sure his team doesn’t over-train after a long break. The challenging weather conditions are another reason why the Australian wants to manage training sessions better.
“We’ve got a smaller squad so I want to sort of manage our training sessions differently than we did last year,” said Ponting. “I’ve made it clear to the boys that we are not going to over-train in the first three weeks. I believe our preparation leading up to the first game is critical. I want to make sure that physically, technically and tactically the boys are peaking for the first game.”
He added: “It is an unusual time we have got - having three weeks - I think we had slotted in about 20 training sessions before our first game, which in my opinion are too many, so we are just going to see how the boys are shaping up after every training session and then take it from there.”
A big part of the off-season play for Ponting is to help his players remember why they were successful last season.
“Last year, I had as much fun as I’ve ever had with a cricket team, and I want to make sure we can replicate that this season as well,” said the two-time World Cup-winning captain. “I think it’s really important that when you have success, you understand why you have it. I’ll be banking on the guys we still have from last year – it’s important for them to remember the positives. If they can impose that on the younger and new guys in the team, before you know it, you’re going to have this really infectious attitude around the team again which is what I’m all about as a coach.”
Ponting, who will be leading the Delhi Capitals into his third season as their head coach, added: “With all the protocols involved, the teams that manage themselves the best throughout the tournament, I think will go a long way. What I mean by management is not managing the players, but managing our time as well, and finding things and activities which we can do together as a group.”