Weighing in on the impact player rule that is set to be introduced in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 - Delhi Capitals (DC) head coach Ricky Ponting reckons that the role of an all-rounder will get negated as the team has the option to bring in a genuine batter or bowler any time in the game based on the situation.
According to the new rule, the teams can now announce the XI after the toss. The captains will carry two sheets to the toss and can submit their final XI based on the outcome of the toss.
"Actually, it almost negates the role of all-rounders in the game now as you don't need to pick in all-rounders, name a batting or bowling-heavy team and just take one out and bring another one in," Ponting said.
"Unless they [all-rounders] are absolutely world-class and they could be picked as a batter or bowler not as a bits and pieces guy, I don't think you will see many teams actually use the guy that bats at No. 7 and bowls an over or two, You don't need those guys anymore."
"What we will find through, each franchise, how they want to use him (Impact Player) and because of players, we only found out about Impact players post auction. Actually, we have to work with what we have got and if we had known before auction, we would have looked at it in a slightly different way," he added.
Ponting also admitted that the absence of Rishabh Pant is a massive loss to the side. The DC captain has been ruled out for an indefinite period after a horrific car crash he suffered at the end of 2022.
"Pant is a huge loss and it doesn't matter who we bring in as we are still going to miss him," Ponting said at an event in Delhi.
"I am not going to joke or try and gloss over that fact and he is one of the best players in the world in three formats of the game. He is ranked in top five among Test batsmen in the world and obviously our leader and has been our No. 4 batter in middle-order and finisher for us and replacing him is going to be pretty much impossible."
In Pant's absence, Ponting has indicated that there is a terrific chance for Aman Khan to be included in the XI. "Aman Khan is one that has really impressed us and we traded Shardul [Thakur] with KKR to get him in and he has been ultra-impressive and I don't know how much you have seen of him and his last couple of days at training has been pretty special," Ponting said on the youngster.
Warner to open
The former Australia captain also confirmed that David Warner will open the innings for DC this season. Warner was earlier announced as captain of the side in Pant's absence.
"I don't want Warner to bat at No. 4. He has been one of the most successful openers in IPL history. I think we saw the games he played for DC last year," Ponting explained.
"He was our leading run-scorer and the number of games that he won with his own batting. And he is such a competitive guy, guy who is going at top of the order and you know he can take the game on and skillful, experienced and he is our leader."
Marsh to bowl?
While Mitchell Marsh has not bowled a great deal since his ankle surgery, Ponting that the all-rounder will roll his arm over in the tournament. "He will be a top-order batter/all-rounder for us," Ponting said.
"I think he is coming into the tournament in the best form I have seen him in and he has got three-four months rest in Australia and recovered from ankle surgery he had in November," Ponting said.
"He has not bowled in games yet but he has been bowling for past 5-6 weeks and his role in this team will be to bowl some overs as well and he knows that and understand that."
Lastly, Ponting said that attacking batter Prithvi Shaw is in better physical shape than he was last time he saw him. Shaw has been training hard at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) ahead of the season.
"He has been at the NCA for training and he has worked and trained better than I have ever seen him do," the DC head coach said.
"He is in better physical shape than what I have seen him ever before and I spoke to him the other day about his attitude and how he is training, this is going to be his biggest IPL season. "He just has that different look in his eyes and you could see he is hungrier than ever, the level of talent and ability he has you will see."
DC begin their IPL 2023 campaign against Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) at the Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow on April 1.