Seasoned pacer Ishant Sharma was recently involved in an Instagram Live session with his Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Delhi Capitals. Sharma joined the Delhi-based T20 unit for the first time in IPL 2019 where he played under the coaching stint of his former rival Ricky Ponting. The right-arm pacer played 13 matches in the season, where he picked 13 wickets at an average of 26.84.
During the chat, Ishant Sharma described Ricky Ponting as the “best coach” he has ever met. He said that while he missed the IPL 2018, he was a bit nervous entering a new IPL dressing room after a gap of two years. However, Ishant Sharma revealed that the former Australian captain gave him some much-needed confidence upon their first meeting at the Capitals camp. The pacer revealed that on the first day itself, Ricky Ponting had asked him to help the young bowlers in the side because of his vast experience.
The all-famous Ishant Sharma vs Ricky Ponting rivalry first came to light at the WACA Test in January 2008. In the match, a young Sharma bowled a tight spell to the experienced batsman in what turned out to be one of the most gripping hours of Test cricket. Both cricketers remained fierce on-field rivals until Ponting announced his retirement in 2012. In all, Ishant Sharma has dismissed the right-handed batsman 7 times in 12 matches at an average of 32.42.
Ricky Ponting is set to reprise his coaching role for Delhi Capitals in the now-postponed Indian Premier League 2020 (IPL 2020) season. The cricketer was appointed as the head coach of the side prior to the 2018 edition of IPL. According to sportekz.com, Ricky Ponting's IPL salary for the 2020 season is US$449,896 (₹3.4 crore).
Meanwhile, Ishant Sharma is also signed on by Delhi Capitals for 2020 after the franchise retained the cricketer for ₹1.1 crore (US$145,407) during the trading and transfer window in late 2019. While the Capitals were slated to face Kings XI Punjab on March 30, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) were forced to indefinitely postpone the tournament. As the coronavirus-induced India lockdown continues to remain in effect, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly recently stated that there are no plans of staging any immediate cricketing activities in the country.