The coaching quality of Ricky Ponting has been lauded by a former Test opponent, with ex-England player Mark Butcher praising the Australian for his work with dynamic opener Jason Roy.
Englishman Roy opened his IPL campaign with a spectacular 91no from 53 deliveries to guide the Delhi Daredevils to victory over the Mumbai Indians, the team Ponting coached to IPL success back in 2015.
This time around, Ponting is at the helm of Delhi and the legendary batsman's influence appears to have already been decisive for Roy, according to Butcher, who noted the mentor's stern words to his charge during an early break in the Daredevils' run chase.
"It was such a class innings," Butcher told Sky Sports of the 27-year-old's knock on Saturday. "Particularly because he was there at the very end, something he has been criticised for not doing before.
"He played brilliantly, absolutely superbly. The way he closed the game out, the maturity he showed going through the gears, were all great signs.
"It looks like Ponting has had a real influence on him. The rocket he gave him during the first team timeout was extraordinary to see, for a guy playing as well as he was. It was almost like he'd played awfully, the way Ricky was on him."
Roy and Ponting actually played alongside one another at Surrey during Ponting's final first-class season, in 2013, and Butcher suggested that insight had helped the relationship now between player and coach.
"Quite often, with these different coaches around the world, there isn't that relationship – the coaches and the players are always trying to feel each other out, find out what makes them tick," he said.
"Ponting, in this case, looks to have an idea on how to get the best out of Roy, because he's played with him at Surrey, knows his makeup – he stays on top of him, he doesn't allow him to think too much for himself.
"He's in there, saying, 'Come on, you're a fantastic player, but I'm not going to let you slip here. I'm going to stay in your head and make sure you're focused on the job. Don't you give this away now'.
"That was sensational, and Roy responded brilliantly to that."
Delhi's win against Mumbai was their first in three of IPL 2018 – they take on Chris Lynn and the Kolkata Knight Riders tonight (12:30am AEST) at Eden Gardens.
Australian viewers can watch the 2018 season of the IPL exclusively on Fox Sports