Seam bowlers could make a significant impact in the early stages of the Indian Premier League (IPL) starting on Saturday in the warm conditions of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Delhi Capitals (DC) coach Ricky Ponting said on Saturday.
The 13th edition of the tournament will be played across three bio-secure venues in the (UAE) -- Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah -- with the opening game pitting defending champions Mumbai Indians against last year's runners-up Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Abu Dhabi.
Ricky Ponting on the early stages of IPL
Slow bowlers and spinners have been widely expected to take centre stage due to the conditions traditionally on offer in the UAE. And Ponting expects the wickets to slow down as the tournament goes on. "I think the conditions might change quite a bit through the tournament with only three venues being used," Ponting said in a virtual press conference.
"Here in Dubai, we have 24 games. Speaking to the groundsman the other day, he has only four wickets that he can use so he's going to have five or more games on each pitch. So, we trained at the main ground a couple of days ago, there was a lot of green grass on the wicket. But I think by the time the game comes around tomorrow, there might be a little bit of that grass cut out," he said.
"But I think in the initial bit of the tournament, we'll see the seam bowlers having an impact but as the tournament goes on the wickets will slow down and probably start to spin a lot more," he felt.
Ponting, however, said that the team would get a better idea of the conditions only when they start playing. DC's first match is against Kings XI Punjab on Sunday.
"That's been our reading of the conditions so far, but we'll get a better idea once we get to the ground tomorrow. But I'm expecting that certainly in the first part there won't be a lot of spin on offer, certainly in Dubai, anyway," he said.