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IPL 2024: After Pant's 1-match suspension, Axar to lead Delhi Capitals against RCB

Regular skipper Rishabh Pant was hit with a one-match suspension for the team’s third offence regarding slow over-rate.
Last Updated : 11 May 2024, 16:22 IST
Last Updated : 11 May 2024, 16:22 IST

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Bengaluru: Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting on Saturday said Axar Patel will captain the side for the crunch IPL game against Royal Challengers Bengaluru after regular skipper Rishabh Pant was hit with a one-match suspension for the team’s third offence regarding slow over-rate.

“Axar Patel will be our captain for tomorrow. He’s been the vice-captain of the franchise for the last couple of seasons. Obviously a very experienced IPL player, a very experienced international player. A very sensible guy who understands the game really well. He’s very excited to lead,” said Ponting at the pre-match press conference at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

“We started talking about it a couple of days ago when there was the possibility that Rishabh might be suspended. He’s got his head around it, we’ve done our bowlers meeting today (Saturday) and he’ll catch up with all the guys tonight and go through with all the plans and make sure he’s ready to lead the team tomorrow.”

Ponting also bemoaned his team’s poor over-rates but felt Pant needs to take better control of the proceedings. The Australian pointed out how the Delhiite erred in bowling pacer Khaleel Ahmed in the 15th over in the previous game against Rajasthan Royals when they were already behind the clock.

“We’ve obviously known for 6-7 games now that he’s (Pant) been on two strikes. We could have actually stood him down from captaincy to potentially stop this happening but at the end of the day, like it or not, it’s the captain’s responsibility (to ensure overs are completed on time),” said Ponting.

“He hasn’t got full control of everything and I think circumstantially he was probably unlucky in the last game. Going to bowl Khaleel, the over where he bowled four wides, at that stage of the game where we are three minutes behind. So if Khaleel bowls regulation over there without any extra balls and then Kuldeep (Yadav) bowls the next over, we wouldn’t have gone behind the time. The fact that Khaleel’s over went for nine minutes put us further behind. That late in the game, there is no way you can drag the time back. Rishabh not being there, our leading run scorer, is a big loss for us but also offers a chance for everybody else to step up.”

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Published 11 May 2024, 16:22 IST

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