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I was quite shocked to see Australian players ball-tampering in Cape Town, reveals Ricky Ponting

While Ricky Ponting was disturbed by the ball-tampering incident, he pointed out that the widespread criticism of Australia's cricket culture was unfair.

Written by Rahul Sadhu |
Updated: April 5, 2018 11:23:24 pm
Ricky Ponting has been appointed as the head coach of Delhi Daredevils in IPL 11. (Source: Delhi Daredevils)

Much like his country, former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting is renowned for his aggressive approach towards the game. However, the ball-tampering incident which consumed Australian cricket last month has also left the Tasmanian in shock. Speaking at a press conference in New Delhi, the former Aussie legend, who is now head coach of Delhi Daredevil in the IPL, dwelled deep into the issue and revealed that he too was disturbed by how the entire episode had panned out.

“This is the first time I have actually answered a single question about what’s happened in South Africa over the last couple of weeks,” said Ponting.

“I was quite shocked to see what actually took place out there on the field. But I am pleased that all this issue is starting to come to an end,” he added. Australian Test cricket players Steve Smith, Cameron Bancroft, and David Warner were handed up to one-year suspensions by Cricket Australia for tampering the ball during a match against South Africa.

Stating that the widespread criticism of Australia’s cricket culture was unfair and how, according to him, it was blown out of proportion, Ponting said, “The cultural issue for me is really an interesting thing. Because if we wind the clock back just a couple of months, when Australia won the Ashes like they did, there were no talks about cultural problems or issues whatsoever. A lot of times cultural thing can be blown out of proportion but the reality inside the dressing room is completely different,” Ponting explained.

After being appointed as the head coach for Delhi Daredevils in the 11th edition of the IPL, if there is one thing that the Tasmanian has refused to do is utter the word ‘aggressive’ in the dressing room.

Elucidating the reasons behind it, Ponting said,”For me when you are talking about aggression it is about doing whatever you can to win games. It’s as simple as that. I have not mentioned the word aggressive around this team at all. I am coaching this team to win games and I want it to be the unified group which wants play for each other.”

“There might be a bit of aggression as the tournament goes on but the boys are gonna be well prepared, mentally and physically and tactically and if we execute well during the games then there is no reason why we can’t go all the way,” Ponting added.

Ricky Ponting will team up with skipper Gautam Gambhir. (Source: Delhi Daredevils)

Ponting, who has the experience of winning the IPL title both as a player and a coach, will team up with skipper Gautam Gambhir who himself had lifted the coveted trophy twice. Both the players are well known for wearing their hearts on their sleeves and playing a fiery brand of cricket. So when the two combustible elements form a team, will fireworks fly?

“Our natural instincts are to fight hard on the field and win. As batsmen, we want to battle against bowlers. Gautam Gambhir and I will form a terrific leadership together,” 44-year-old Ponting said.

But the Australian loves seeing this attitude amongst his players. “I actually love seeing that come out in our players. It means players are competitive. We will balance ourselves each other really well. There will be a lot of talk about us playing aggressive cricket because I am the coach. We haven’t even spoken about aggressive cricket so far, we have spoken about high intensity and high energy cricket with a never-say-die attitude,” he said.

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