Ideally, Shikhar Dhawan should score quicker for Delhi: Ricky Ponting
Shikhar Dhawan's strike-rate has been a concern for Delhi Capitals. © BCCI

Ricky Ponting, coach of the Delhi franchise, has called on Shikhar Dhawan to up his strike-rate in the 2019 Indian T20 League but stopped short of being critical of the opener’s innings on Tuesday against Chennai at the Feroz Shah Kotla.

In two matches this season, Dhawan has scored 43 off 36 balls and 51 off 47 balls. Against Mumbai, he batted into the 16th over and on Tuesday against Chennai he was dismissed in the 18th over. (READ: Delhi were ‘a long way off’ from winning total: Ponting)

Ponting felt that preferably Dhawan should have scored more runs and at a faster strike-rate given that he had bedded himself in.

“Ideally,” Ponting said after the loss on Tuesday. “Yes you’d like that. Obviously, it wasn’t an easy wicket either for anyone to come in and strike, especially at the end of the Powerplay. There’s a certain role we want Shikhar to play in this team. Even by his own admission, he probably would have liked to score a little bit quicker today.”

The surface at the Kotla was not easy to bat on, as witnessed by Delhi posting 147/6 and Chennai taking 19.4 overs to achieve their target. Dhawan’s strike-rate of 108.51 was lower than Rishabh Pant’s (192.30) and Prithvi Shaw’s (150) but those two batsmen faced just 13 and 16 deliveries respectively, whereas Dhawan had the task of steering Delhi to a good total. (READ: Shane Watson, Dwayne Bravo hand Chennai second win)

His skipper Shreyas Iyer made 18 off 20 balls, adding pressure on Dhawan.

“In an ideal world, yes we would like Shikhar to score quicker but it was difficult for him,” said Ponting. “He did his ankle while he was batting as well so his usual running between the wickets was a little bit hampered tonight. (READ: MS Dhoni is ‘the best captain in the world’: Dwayne Bravo)

“We need to sit down in the next couple of days and talk about how we are going to bat better on that surface. The wickets we are going to get right through the season are going to be quite similar to the one we got tonight. We need to get a little bit smarter on that wicket.”

Delhi next play Kolkata on March 30.