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Ponting pointers a boon for Sixers quick

An IPL stint had a predictably positive effect on Sydney Sixers paceman Ben Dwarshuis, but his biggest gains may have been with the bat thanks to some Ricky Ponting masterclasses.

Dwarshuis, a key cog in the Sixers’ push for a third-straight BBL title, returned from a side strain ahead of schedule to play in Wednesday’s win over Melbourne Stars at the MCG.

The left-armer has enjoyed a busy year, playing Twenty20 cricket for Worcestershire then earning a late call-up for the second phase of the IPL after Chris Woakes withdrew from the Delhi Capitals’ squad.

Dwarshuis was unable to break through for an IPL debut, sitting below South Africans Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje plus fellow Sixer Tom Curran in Delhi’s pace pecking order.

Nonetheless, it was an enriching, enlightening and enjoyable experience at the table-topping franchise coached by Ponting.

“I had a great time. It was a really good group … and a very, very productive month,” Dwarshuis told AAP.

“James Hopes was our bowling coach, so it was great to get a bit of an insight from him.

“Spending time with Ricky Ponting was obviously very, very beneficial. I took a lot away from some conversations with him.

“Just hearing him talk about how he goes about the game. He also did a little bit of work on my batting as well, which was nice.”

Curran’s season-ending back injury has further highlighted Dwarshuis’ importance to the Sixers.

All going well, the 27-year-old won’t be required to bat in Tuesday night’s SCG clash with Adelaide Strikers.

But the fast bowler knows a couple of blows with the willow could be the difference between victory and defeat.

“If you can add that string to your bow, come in at the end and get a quick 15 or whatever then you can really make a big difference,” Dwarshuis said.

“We had a few conversations about some things I can try to do.

“Since then, I feel like I’ve been hitting the ball nicely.”

The IPL exposure, coming after a previous stint at Kings XI Punjab and call-up to Australia’s T20 squad in 2018, has made Dwarshuis hungry for more.

“Definitely. Not only the IPL, but also playing the T20 Blast in England,” he said.

“It was a nice taste of what it can be like to be involved in those leagues … it’s nice to have a little eye on those and it’s something to strive to.”

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