Ricky Ponting has made it clear to his players at Delhi Capitals that managing workload will be the key to their performance in the IPL.
Ravichandran Ashwin, who joined Delhi Capitals from Kings XI Punjab this season, agrees with the head coach while believing that teams will have to gradually pick momentum after a slow start.
“We’ve got a lot of energy reserve at this point and the eagerness to play the game is quite prevalent. The one thing Punter (Ponting) has made very clear to us is that we have to manage our workload well, and that’s going to be the key.
“This is probably the longest window an IPL team gets for practising for the tournament. It’s usually 5-7 days, I’ve even joined the team just two days before the start because I’ve been playing for the national side right before that,” the seasoned off-spinner said.
“This is actually a wonderful opportunity to top up your skills, try out new things. It’s like a laboratory to try things out in the game that you love so much.
“You can really pace yourself out, use your creativity and imagination, and settle into things as the tournament kicks off.
“It will be a slow and skeptical start for most teams, and that’s one of the areas where I’d like to capitalise,” he said.
With Ponting calling Ashwin “one of the most successful spinners in IPL history”, the 33-year-old feels he has started understanding his role better. “I feel that in the shorter format of the game, it’s harder to be a bowler and easier to be a batter.
“My job is to come in at No. 7 or 8, and you’re going to get 5-6 deliveries at the most, sometimes not even that. The last two years at Punjab, I started understanding these roles better.
“I understand my role with the bat better now... Of course bowling is what I enjoy. I don’t mind going for runs, it’s a challenge I love,” he said.
Ashwin felt there is positive energy brewing in the camp and that will help the franchise. “The whole atmosphere around the team is energetic with the youngsters. The mood in the camp is extremely exuberant.
“We’ve all gone through a difficult few months, and it’s great to see people in high spirits, mingling with each other despite being locked in for a week in the hotel. We were very disciplined as a group, and everyone was strict about staying in. I think that showed how much we want to go out there and play together,” added Ashwin.
Having completed the first few nets sessions with the Delhi Capitals, Ashwin said it was “exciting to be out in the open”.
“Seeing a few human beings and being out in the open is not something we’ve done in the last few months, so yes, I’m excited.”