Sharjah, October 14: Delhi Capitals (DC) head coach Ricky Ponting said it was the right decision to send Australia all-rounder Marcus Stoinis at number three against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
Stoinis played his first match in the UAE leg of Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) on Wednesday (October 13).
The star batter was promoted up the order but he failed to leave a mark as he scored 18 runs off 23 balls against KKR.
"No, I don't think so," said Ponting during the post-match press conference when asked if sending Stoinis at number 3 backfired.
"We thought long and hard about where Marcus's best bet would be the batting order for us today. I mean, as we all are aware, he missed about three weeks with a hamstring injury, so he hadn't played any cricket.
"We desperately wanted him back into the team today because we knew he could bat at the top of the order and bat down at the death if required," he added.
The former Australian skipper also cited how Indian players struggled to score in Qualifier 2 against KKR.
"As you saw today, with that type of pitch, it's really difficult for any new batsman to come in and start on. Even Shikhar at the top didn't get away to the flier that we were after," said Ponting.
"Middle-order players, Indian players even struggled to get going on that surface. So, I think it was the right decision. We probably didn't get the outcome that we were after, though," he added.
Needing 136 runs to win, KKR were off to a brisk start, courtesy of Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer. The duo cashed in on all the scoring opportunities and took KKR to 51/0 in the first six overs.
Ponting said conditions "changed dramatically" in the second innings and also praised Iyer for his gutsy knock.
"As you would have noticed watching the game, the conditions changed dramatically from first innings to second innings.
I mean the first probably 10 overs of their beginnings, when they had a newish ball and dew was on the ground, certainly made batting look a lot easier than what it seemed for our guys, but that's more the reason why we had to make more runs than we did in the first innings," said Ponting.
"Not trying to defend them... but well done to the opening stand today for KKR, thought they did a great job and I think they have actually found a really good player in Venkatesh Iyer. He looks like someone that could be a terrific player for Kolkata and maybe even India in the future," he added.
The side has set up the blockbuster final showdown against the Chennai Super Kings, which will take place in Dubai on Friday (October 15)
After suffering a loss in Qualifier 2 of the ongoing Indian Premier League against Kolkata Knight Riders, Delhi Capitals skipper Rishabh Pant lauded his bowlers for fighting it out till the very end.
Venkatesh Iyer and Shubman Gill played knocks of 55 and 46 respectively to follow up Varun Chakravarthy's two-wicket haul as KKR defeated Delhi Capitals by three wickets here at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
"I can't change anything after the match. We kept on believing and stayed in the game for as long as possible. The bowlers pulled it back. They bowled really well through the middle overs. We were stuck, and unable to rotate the strike. Hopefully, we can come back next year for a stronger season," Pant told host broadcaster Star Sports after the game ended.
Earlier, Varun Chakravarthy returned with figures of 2-26 as KKR restricted Delhi Capitals to 135/5.
"We played really good cricket throughout the season. We stuck together, and cared for each other. Hopefully, we will improve next year and come back strongly," said Pant.