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03 Sep 2020 | 07:08 AM
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Ponting wants run penalties not 'Mankads' for 'cheating' batsmen
India's Ravichandran Ashwin sparked a worldwide debate last year with his "Mankading" of England batsman Jos Buttler in a Twenty20 Indian Premier League match

Australia great Ricky Ponting says non-strikers leaving their crease early is "cheating", but would prefer to see run penalties instead of controversial "Mankad" run-outs to stop the practice.

India's Ravichandran Ashwin sparked a worldwide debate last year with his "Mankading" of England batsman Jos Buttler in a Twenty20 Indian Premier League match.

Ashwin, playing for Kings XI Punjab, stopped in his run-up and whipped the bails off at the non-striker's end, catching the advancing Rajasthan Royals' batsman Buttler out of his ground.

Ashwin has now joined the Delhi Capitals, coached by Ponting who warned recently he would not like the spinner to repeat the tactic, though legal, when the virus-delayed 2020 season starts later this month.

"Yeah, I totally get where you are coming from," Ponting told Ashwin, who favours using the dismissal, during a web chat.

"I wasn't trying to say that you were (not) justified because it is actually in the laws of the game. You can do it... if a batsman is cheating, and trying to steal a couple of yards.

"I just think that we have got to find a way around trying to stop the batsman cheating. 

"We have had this conversation already. I don't want to see anyone running two or three yards down the wicket."

The dismissal was named after India's Vinoo Mankad, who ran out Australia's Bill Brown by removing the bails at the bowler's end during the 1947 Sydney Test.

The mode of dismissal splits cricket opinion, with many thinking it is against the spirit of the game. 

But opposition to it has been softening recently, particularly in limited-overs cricket, when non-strikers can gain an advantage when chasing runs by leaving the crease early.

"I think there should be some sort of a run penalty," said Ponting.

"If you are to get to the top of your bowling action and stop, and it shows that the batsman is cheating and is out of his crease, I think put a run penalty on them.

"And do it right from the start, because that will stop him right away. 

"Imagine taking 10 runs off a team total because you have taken yards. Those sort of things need to be looked at."

The world's richest Twenty20 league is scheduled to start on September 19 in the United Arab Emirates with India unable to hold this year's edition because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In first session with team, Ponting warns against over-training in UAE heat

Ponting feels the team has slotted far too may training sessions ahead of the IPL and considering the heat in the UAE, he says the duration of team's training will depend on how it "shapes up" after every session.

Ponting oversaw the first session of the team following his six-day quarantine upon arrival in Dubai. Weather conditions will be a challenge for all teams and Ponting said they can be overcome by managing training sessions better.

"We've got a smaller squad so I want to sort of manage our training sessions differently than we did last year. I've made it clear to the boys that we are not going to over-train in the first three weeks. I believe our preparation leading up to the first game is critical," Ponting said in a team statement.

"I want to make sure that physically, technically and tactically the boys are peaking for the first game.

"It is an unusual time we have got - having three weeks - I think we had slotted in about 20 training sessions before our first game, which in my opinion are too many, so we are just going to see how the boys are shaping up after every training session and then take it from there," added the 45-year-old.

Ponting had guided Delhi to their first play-off birth last year since the 2012 season.

The World Cup-winning skipper wants his players to remember why they were successful last season.

"...I want to make sure we can replicate that this season as well. I think it's really important that when you have success, you understand why you have it. I'll be banking on the guys we still have from last year - it's important for them to remember the positives.

"If they can impose that on the younger and new guys in the team, before you know it, you're going to have this really infectious attitude around the team again which is what I'm all about as a coach," said the Australian great.

Ponting said the team which manages itself the best amid the strict bio-secure protocols in place is more likely to have success on the ground.

"What I mean by management is not managing the players, but managing our time as well, and finding things and activities which we can do together as a group," added Ponting, who will be guiding Delhi for a third season.

Complimenting newer recruits Ashwin and Ajinkya Rahane, the Australian great said the duo will add a lot of experience to the squad.

"Both of them are class players, and have been long-term Indian players. Ashwin has been one of the most successful spinners in IPL history, and Rahane has led Rajasthan for a long time as well.

"They have all sorts of skill, class and experience which they'll add to our squad. We all know how important experience is in T20 cricket, and we understand that.

"We've got a young captain in Shreyas (Iyer), but to have those older, more experienced minds on the ground will help us a lot," he added.

Picture courtesy: Delhi Capitals Twitter

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Delhi CapitalsRicky Thomas PontingRavichandran AshwinIndian Premier League, 2020
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