Delhi Capitals have been exceptionally unlucky in this edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the sense that despite giving commanding performances, they have ended up on the losing side, courtesy a few slip-ups here and there.
A case in point being the 15-run loss to Rajasthan Royals on April 22, where they seemed to be cruising and looked set to overhaul the mammoth 222 runs scored by the opposition, but, curiously, they choked and finally lost a game they should have won.
As the team prepares for the Wankhede showdown with two-time IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), head coach Ricky Pointing knows that any more slip-ups would be disastrous, given that the team has garnered just three wins from the first seven games and is languishing seventh in the points table.
Reflecting on the first half of the season, Ponting said, it's high time to get the momentum of last year back.
"I've said it a few times this year where there's 36 or 37 overs of really good stuff, and we just let it slip for two or three overs. And, that's the difference in these games. We sort of gear ourselves to not over-train in the first part of the season, try and build up along the way. But our performances have been win one, lose one, win one. So, we need to start getting that little bit of momentum."
Speaking about the upcoming second half of the season, the Australian legend said, "I know we're so close to turning it all around. We've all got to trust, we've got to believe, we've got to stay upbeat and positive. And if we are, things will definitely change for us.
No Changes In Back End of Season
Ponting said the team will not change it strategy for the second half of the IPL, and will just try to relax and "keep repeating things we've been doing".
"The harder we try from here, the harder it's going to get. We're just going to stay nice and relax and keep repeating things we've been doing. And then results will definitely come our way. We are too good a team for the results not to change," he said on Wednesday.
The Australian re-joined the squad at training after completing his precautionary five-day room isolation after a family member had tested positive for Covid-19.
"I feel pretty relieved to be back outside again, actually after another five days locked in, and obviously missing the game," he said. "Things didn't go well in the game, we had a drama at the end. But, it's nice to be back outside again."
Sharing his experience of watching the team's previous match from quarantine, Ponting said, "It was frustrating. I think I broke three or four remote controls and a few bottles of water might have got thrown into the walls and things like that (laughs). When you're on the side-lines, being a coach and you can't control what's happening out in the middle, that's hard enough, but when you're not actually at the ground, it can get a little more frustrating.
"There's no doubt we've had it tougher than the other teams so far," he said, on the COVID cases in the Delhi Capitals bio-bubble last week.
"Hopefully, we throw that COVID stuff now and are on the other side. And it's probably a really good definitive cut-off point -- the halfway time of the season. We can reassess and readjust and get on with, hopefully, dominating the second half of this tournament," added Ponting.