The Delhi Daredevils are likely to appoint veteran batsman Gautam Gambhir as their captain for the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Delhi Daredevils coach and former Australia captain Ricky Ponting, who will take over the struggling franchise’s coaching reigns this year confirmed the development and said that the southpaw’s leadership qualities and ability to nurture the youngsters makes him an ideal candidate to lead the side.
“It is likely now that Gambhir will lead the team next season,” Ponting said. “We had a conversation with him. He has conveyed to us that he would like to make a comeback to his home Delhi and hopefully lead the team.”
“And if you look at his leadership, we did not find any fault when captaining KKR. His last season of IPL also has also been very good. So we thought it would be good to have him as captain working with some of the young Indian players. So, we have gone for an experienced captain and I am sure he will do the job for us.”
Daredevils were the first franchise to express their interest in securing Gautam Gambhir’s services when his name came up at the auction on Saturday (January 27). They were soon joined in by Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab in the bidding process but ultimately got their man for a price of Rs. 2.8 crores, with the aim of having an experienced campaigner as their captain for the next season.
“When you look at it and see what they have done today is that they want to regenerate their franchise and the team,” Ponting further added. “Look, Gautam has been there for a long time. He might himself felt it is time for a change for a fresh start. We are glad to have him as part of Delhi franchise.”
Delhi Daredevils have been perennial underachievers in the IPL and were led by another veteran Zaheer Khan in the last two editions of the league. With a largely young side at his disposal, Gambhir’s task will be cut out, much like it was with KKR in 2011 as they went about restructuring their side which had been one of the poorest performers in the competition till then.