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After a decent run in the initial years, the Delhi Daredevils have well and truly emerged as the quintessential punching bags in the Indian Premier League (IPL) with constant changing and chopping in coaching staff and playing roster not helping their cause. The franchise has only managed a playoffs spot in one of their last eight IPL campaigns and even finished with a wooden spoon for two back to back seasons in 2013 and 2014. After a genuinely good run in the mega auction and the return of veteran Gautam Gambhir as skipper, the Daredevils can harbour real hopes of clinching their maiden IPL title in the upcoming eleventh edition. They will also be boosted by the presence of former Australian captain Ricky Ponting in their dugout, who will take up the franchise’s coaching responsibilities from Rahul Dravid in IPL 2018.
The Delhi Daredevils fans will certainly be excited with the prospect of Gautam Gambhir and Ricky Ponting working in tandem behind the scenes, with both men coming in with previous experience of winning the IPL in recent season. It is Gambhir’s leadership that is credited with transforming the Kolkata Knight Riders team from an inconsistent side, who had never qualified for the last leg of the tournament until his arrival, to winning two IPL titles between 2012 and 2014.
Delhi will be hoping that the veteran southpaw can inspire a turnaround in the franchise’s fortunes this year. Before going into the auction in January, the Daredevils did well by retaining the services of proven IPL performers like Chris Morris, Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer. With new coach Ricky Ponting at their table, the DD management was proactive at the auction and brought in global T20 icons like Glenn Maxwell, Jason Roy, Colin Munro, Kagiso Rabada and Trent Boult. They will also have high hopes from the Under 19 World Cup winning captain Prithvi Shaw, who came into limelight when he was just 15 years old after he played a mammoth knock of 546 runs in the prestigious Harris Shield Tournament and made a found for himself in the record books. His U-19 teammate and opening partner, Manjot Kalra also has a good reputation and will look to give his best for the side, whenever he gets a chance.
Delhi Daredevils complete IPL 2018 Squad:
Gautam Gambhir (C), Rishabh Pant, Chris Morris, Shreyas Iyer, Glenn Maxwell, Jason Roy, Colin Munro, Mohammed Shami, Kagiso Rabada, Amit Mishra, Prithvi Shaw, Rahul Tewatia, Vijay Shankar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Shabaz Nadeem, Dan Christian, Jayant Yadav, Gurkeerat Singh, Trent Boult, Manjot Kalra, Abhishek Sharma, Sandeep Lamichanne, Sayan Ghosh
Ladies & Gentlemen!
— Delhi Daredevils (@DelhiDaredevils) January 28, 2018
Delhi Daredevils Likely Playing XI:
Gautam Gambhir (C), Colin Munro, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shreyas Iyer, Glenn Maxwell, Vijay Shankar, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Amit Mishra, Shahbaz Nadeem, Mohammad Shami
IPL 2018: Swot Analysis of Delhi Daredevils squad
Ahead of IPL 2018, we bring you a detailed SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis of the Delhi Daredevils squad:
1. Colin Munro’s presence at the top
The Delhi Daredevils pulled off a coup of sorts when they managed to bring in the services of New Zealand blaster Colin Munro for a sum of INR 1.9 crs. at the IPL auction in January. The Kiwi opener is one of the hardest hitters of the cricket ball going around in world cricket at present and has the innate ability of hitting a six at any given point of time in the game. Munro is also the only batsman with three T20I hundreds to his name. His presence at the top of the order alongside skipper Gautam Gambhir will be certainly be one of Delhi’s big hopes this season, as is also illustrated by his T20 career numbers.
2. Gautam Gambhir’s leadership
The decision to get veteran southpaw Gautam Gambhir back and appoint him as skipper can turn out to be one of the wisest decisions taken by the Daredevils’ management in recent years as they look to reboot and challenge for the title this year. Only the great MS Dhoni has a better record as captain in the IPL with 83 wins from 143 games as compared to Gambhir’s track record of 70 wins in 123 matches. With Ricky Ponting also coming in as the head coach, Delhi will have two of the best cricketing minds in business in their dugout this year.
3. Good mix of effective T20 players
In Chris Morris, Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Christian, Vijay Shankar, Colin Munro, Amit Mishra and Rishabh Pant, the Delhi Daredevils have a battery of proven T20 performers in their ranks – a luxury which is bound to help and further their cause in the IPL this season.
Imploring further, the stats also paint a similar picture. South African all-rounder Chris Morris, who was retained by the franchise, has a dot-ball percentage of merely 20% while playing in the death-overs (16-20) and hits a boundary in every 4.5 balls. The lanky pacer is also counted among the very best death bowlers in the league as he has an economy rate of less than 8 while bowling between the 17th and 20th over and also has an impressive strike-rate of 10 during this bracket.
Maverick Australian dasher Glenn Maxwell is one of the best boundary-hitters in the history of IPL as he has a ball-per-boundary ratio of 4 in the death overs. The ‘Big Show’ also had the highest percentage of runs scored from boundaries while playing for Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2017.
In Amit Mishra, Delhi also have an IPL legend in their ranks as he is the second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament. The veteran leg-spinner is also one of the league top strike bowlers as he has a strike-rate of 23 and bowls at an economy rate of less than 8.
Amit Mishra’s IPL journey in numbers:
4. Good bench strength
While their first XI looks pretty sorted, the Delhi Daredevils also did a commendable job of bringing in players who can provide them with good strength in depth as they look to win their maiden IPL title in the upcoming season. Players like Daniel Christian, Trent Boult, Jason Roy, Naman Ojha, Harshal Patel and Gurkeerat Singh Mann are all experienced players who can step into the team whenever needed.
Fans will also have their eyes set on watching the progress of India’s U-19 heroes Prithvi Shaw and Manjot Kalra as they make their IPL bow with the Delhi Daredevils. Nepal’s 17-year-old leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane is also bound to grab a lot of eyeballs.
1. Lack of wrist spinners
The art of wrist spin is the latest rage in white-ball cricket and rightly so. The wrist-spinners are in high demand as they possess the unique ability of picking up wickets irrespective of the conditions on offer. While the Delhi Daredevils do have Amit Mishra in their squad, other spin bowling options like Jayant Yadav and Shahbaz Nadeem are traditional finger spinners and might struggle in the tournament. Nepal’s 17-year-old leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane might be an option for captain Gambhir.
2. Rishabh Pant’s dwindling form
The Daredevils reposed their faith in the explosive abilities of young wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant. The 19-year-old southpaw has shown glimpses of his destructive best and even earned himself a place in the Indian side for the recent Nidahas Trophy in Sri Lanka but failed to live up to the hype and was dropped after just two games. It has to be said that Pant’s hit-or-miss approach has spelled his doom on more occasion than one and coming into the IPL, his form will worry the Delhi team management.
3. Unreliable opening pair
In Colin Munro and Gautam Gambhir, Delhi will head into the tournament with an uneasy opening pair. While Munro’s ability to self destruct and throw his wicket away is well known, Gambhir is also well past his prime and his slow starts might hurt the franchise.
4. Gautam Gambhir and Shreyas Iyer – Two notoriously slow starters
Gambhir and Iyer – two of Delhi’s top-order batsmen are known to be slow starters in the IPL. While Gambhir has a strike-rate of 115 in the powerplay overs, he only scores an average of about 19 runs in the first 6 overs. Iyer, on the other hand, has an even worse powerplay strike-rate of 105 and managed a meager 16 runs during the stated bracket of overs.
5. Lack of death bowling options
Other than Chris Morris, Delhi lack a reliable death-overs bowler as Mohammad Shami, Kagiso Rabada and Amit Mishra are known to leak runs in crunch situations. Kiwi ace Trent Boult could be a possible option for the Daredevils to cover their potential weakness.
1. Chance for Prithvi Shaw and Manjot Kalra to shine
Prithvi Shaw and Manjot Kalra – India’s U-19 World Cup winning stars will be playing their first ever IPL season and will have a chance to build and enhance their growing reputations by performing in the world’s premier T20 league.
2. Opportunity for Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer to strengthen their case for international selection
Both Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer were retained by the Delhi Daredevils ahead of the auction and will form an integral part of their team this season. The duo has been in the vicinity of the senior Indian side for a while now and will know that a solid showing in the IPL will only further their cause.
3. A fresh start for Mohammad Shami?
India’s premier Test fast bowler Mohammad Shami has found himself embroiled in controversies of late, with his wife labeling charges of domestic abuse and match-fixing on the 28-year-old. Shami has been given a clean chit by the BCCI to participate in the IPL and will have an opportunity to use the tournament as a perfect stage to shift the focus back on his on-field performances.
4. Chance for Delhi Daredevils to shed off the ‘bottlers’ tag and launch a serious assault on the title
The Delhi Daredevils have been one of the worst performing franchises in the last eight years. This year, they have all the elements in place to make a fresh start and get serious about winning their maiden IPL title.
1. Kagiso Rabada’s fitness and freshness
Kagiso Rabada, the world’s no.1 Test bowler, has been involved in two high-octane series against India and Australia in the last three months and might run the risk of being mentally and physically fatigued by the time he lands in the country to play for the Delhi Daredevils.
2. The Mohammad Shami controversy
As stated earlier, leading pacer Mohammad Shami has been drawing plenty of unwarranted attention in recent weeks. While he has been cleared to play in the IPL, the whole controversy has the potential to grow even bigger and turn into a ticking time-bomb for the Delhi Daredevils this year.
3. Ghosts of the past
Delhi have indeed done well to bring in the combination of Gambhir and Ponting to lead their challenge in IPL 2018 but the management will know that they haven’t done well in a long while and will again carry the tag of perennial under-achievers once again.
WATCH: Ricky Ponting on his first day with the Delhi Daredevils squad
— Delhi Daredevils (@DelhiDaredevils) March 29, 2018
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