IPL 2015 Delhi Daredevils: Daring to overhaul
Team: Delhi Daredevils
Captain: Angelo Mathews
Best Performance: Played semi finals in 2008,2009 and 2012
Home Ground: Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi
Last year’s performance: Played: 14; Won: 2; Lost: 12
Last year’s position: Ended at eighth place in the points table
Overall performance: Played: 89 Won: 42 Lost: 47 NR : 2
Delhi Daredevils is one of the teams in the Indian Premier League history which has been blessed with good teams over the years but somehow has not managed to convert it into the performances. Be it their native flashy batsman Virendra Sehwag or his opening partner Gautam Gambhir none have been able to bask Daredevils in the glory.
Their best performance in the group stages was in the 2012 edition where they finished at the top of the table. They had a well balanced squad with the key players Kevin Pieterson, Mahela Jayawardena, Ross Taylor and Morne Morkel delivering. However, they were encumbered to the semi final spot.
The dearth of local talented batsman hurt them dearly in the 2014 edition as they managed to win two games out of 14 played. Dinesh Karthik not firing in the middle order had put pressure on the likes of Ross Taylor and Captain Kevin Pieterson.
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Also lack of a quality spinner and an all rounder were the loopholes exploited by the opposition teams. This can be estimated by the fact that the defeats they were involved in were hardly narrow ones with average runs of defeat while batting second in the five losses being 38.6 runs. Batting first too did not change the scenario for them; in fact it took a southern dive. When the opposition were chasing their average loss was by a whopping 7.14 wickets per match.
With the key players unable to perform, and that too after an audacious decision to leave out their icon player Virendra Sehwag, some arduous decisions were bound to follow.
As mentioned earlier the dismal 2014 performance culminated in the disbandment of the majority of the squad. It was explicit from the beginning about the intentions of forming a team with new crux. They were keen to plug the loopholes. Also they were unambiguous on the players they wanted in their squad. With a purse of Rs. 600 million (aprox USD 9.6 million) available they were expected to make some heavy buys in this year’s auction.
They bought a total of fourteen players in the auction, most by any team, with the all rounders Yuvraj Singh and Angelo Mathews eating their bulk of purse.
They bought Yuvraj Singh for a whopping Rs. 16 crore (Rs. 2 crore more than last year’s price) after involving in a tussle with his previous team Royal Challengers Bangalore. This is his fourth team he will play for after playing for King XI Punjab, Pune Warriors and Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Interestingly, his one year stint with RCB was the best he performed in an IPL season in terms of number of runs scored. He managed 376 runs in the 14 matches played at an average of 34.18 with strike rate 135.25. The decision to set him free in the auctions is baffling but Delhi won’t be complaining.
The next highest bid by Delhi was for the Sri Lankan all rounder as well as captain, Angelo Mathews, as they had to shell out Rs. 7.5 Crore. He made his IPL debut for Kolkata Knight Riders and then played alongside Yuvraj Singh in now disbanded Pune Warriors. However, he has been unable to stamp his authority in the tournament. Delhi will hope for an inspirational performance from the all rounder.
Yuvraj’s companion in this edition of IPL 2015 will be his team mate from the World Cup winning squad of 2011, Zaheer Khan. The pacer may have lost his sheen to be in the Indian side but still attracted a bid of Rs. 4 Crore. Battling with form and fitness he would want to utilize this opportunity as a gateway to the Indian squad. He started his IPL career with the RCB and thence was shuttled between Mumbai Indians and RCB. Known for his deadly Yorkers and an indecipherable slower one he was the primary weapon for India in the triumphant 2011 world cup. This is his third team in eight editions of IPL.
Another notable buy in this year’s IPL 2015 auction for DD was Amit Mishra. He has been one of the best spinners in the tournament and is a great buy for Delhi as they were in need of a quality spinner. This is in a way home coming for Mishra as he played his first season for the Delhi Daredevils. Thereafter, he played for two versions of Hyderabad, Deccan Chargers and Sunrisers Hyderabad. He has a feat of being the sole player in this tournament to have taken three hattricks.
Squad for DD in IPL 2015
Mayank Agarwal, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Quinton de Kock, Domnic Joseph, Jean-Paul Duminy, Chidhambaram Gautam, Imran Tahir, Shreyas Iyer, Kedar Jadhav, Zaheer Khan, Angelo Mathews, Amit Mishra, Mohammed Shami, Shahbaz Nadeem, Gurinder Sandhu, Rahul Shukla, Manoj Tiwary, Saurabh Tiwary, Jaydev Unadkat, Jayant Yadav, Yuvraj Singh, Albie Morkel
What to expect in IPL 2015?
With a new team and induction of all-rounders like Yuvraj Singh and Angelo Mathews, DD will hope to make way to the play offs at least. However lack of good local batsman is the lacunae they could not fill in the auctions. This might haunt them in the tournament.
As far as the bowling is concerned they have certainly plugged some loop holes here with Amit Mishra and Yuvraj Singh expected to aid them in the spin department. Mohammad Shami, Zaheer Khan, Jaidev Unadkat and Angelo Mathews will handle the pace department.
The verdict is that their batting could disappoint them in this edition as it is too dependent on Yuvraj, Mathews and Duminy.
They are the least placed team for winning the tournament, IPL 2015 with the odds lying at 14/1. We too think that the due to concentration on a few players they would not enter into the playoffs.