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IPL 2021: Ishant Sharma suffering from heel niggle, says Ponting

Mumbai: Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting on Thursday said that pacer Ishant Sharma is suffering from a heel niggle and the side is working on his faster recovery.

The experienced Indian pacer missed the first two games for Delhi Capitals. Rishabh Pant-led side lost against Rajasthan Royals by three wickets in their second game. Ishant's absence created space for Avesh Khan who has impressed with his bowling in both games.

"He has been ultra-impressive, pretty much from the first day we arrived here for the training camp. Physically he looks a little bit better, he lost a little bit of weight from last season. He is definitely fitter and bowling faster. Without a little bit of extra fitness on his side, he is able to maintain his action better. His lines and lengths and slower ball execution is excellent so far," Ponting said while replying to an ANI query in the virtual post-match press conference.

"Coming into the first game, Ishant Sharma obviously had a heel niggle that we have been trying to work through but Avesh grabbed his opportunity with both hands. He has been around with this franchise for a few years now and has not got the opportunity that he has been craving. Look so far, he has been one of our real find and if you got an Indian fast bowler like him and the likes of Woakes, Rabada, Nortje and T Curran around we end up with a really strong fast bowling brigade," he added.

Ponting feels that spinner Ravichandran Ashwin not completing his fours overs is a 'mistake on their behalf' despite just giving 14 runs in his three overs.

"That's certainly something that we will talk about when I get a chance to sit down with the team. He had bowled beautifully. Three overs, none for 14. Hadn't even conceded a boundary. Look he had a disappointing game in game one, but he has worked really hard in the last few days to make sure he adjusted and got things right in this game. I thought he bowled beautifully tonight. Probably a mistake on our behalf, and something we will be talking about later on," he said.

Back against the ball, left-handed batsman David Miller produced a 62-run knock and it was followed by Chris Morris' cameo of 36 runs off just 18 balls as Royals defeated Delhi Capitals here at the Wankhede Stadium.

Miller played a knock of 62 runs. The left-handed batter came out to bat at the score of 17/3, and he guided Rajasthan's innings. And with 27 needed off the final two overs, Morris stepped up to the occasion to take his side over the line with two balls to spare.

"We probably gave him (Morris) a few too many easy balls, a few too many slot balls if you like. The length wasn't quite where it needed to be. If you look at the replay of the game, if you bowled a reasonable yorker, he didn't score off them. If it was back of a length, sort of, above stump high, he didn't get hold of them either, especially with pace on the ball. We talked about how to bowl to him, but the execution probably wasn't there," Ponting said.

"The other thing you have got to factor in is just how wet and how dewy the ball was in the second innings of the game. It wasn't easy for the bowlers to grip. You could see it at the end there. There were a few full tosses that fast bowlers bowled with the ball slipping out of their hand a little bit. That's part and parcel of IPL cricket. We knew coming here that there will be a little bit of dew in the second half of the game. And we didn't adapt, and we didn't execute as well as we could have tonight," he added.

Delhi Capitals will next take on Punjab Kings here at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday.