Delhi Daredevils is a Team trying to shed the ghosts of the previous five editions off their backs – a Team that has been reeling under the spate of poor performances since IPL 2012; a Team that wants to battle it out and get back in reckoning. Once, the same Daredevils had superstars – who could perform and be devastating on their day, or could fail on another, but would sell everyday anyway – they had the great Virender Sehwag, the crafty Gautam Gambhir and the sensational Virat Kohli. Thus, during the February auctions, everyone thought Delhi would chase superstars – superstars who could perform on their day, but, again, sell everyday, performances notwithstanding. Surprisingly, Delhi went after promising youngsters, experienced stalwarts and a few performers from overseas leagues. One look at the man behind the Daredevils – Rahul Dravid – and you know why they are focussing more on getting the processes right, than mere superstardom.
When Delhi embarked on their journey, you could hardly see it coming. Who will carry the burden of the Team, you thought! You will play that one knock that changes the course of the game in a matter of a couple of overs, you wondered! Well, the Delhi Daredevils have put a process in place where everyone tries to come up with important contributions. If it was Sanju Samson’s century that created the platform for Delhi against Pune, it was Morris’s insane 38 off 9 balls that put them in the driver’s seat.
The story has been the same with Delhi’s bowling unit. They don’t have a superstar. They don’t have a player who they paid an astronomical amount for – they’ve players who might not sell well, but have performed either in domestic leagues or international T20. They have Mohammad Shami, the formidable, impactful India pacer. When he is in his elements, he can reverse swing, he can bowl cutters and can bowl a nasty bouncer as well. They have Zaheer Khan who has bowled belligerently so far. In spite of the lack of pace, Zaheer has surprisingly managed to contain runs so far and has maintained steady pressure from one end. Then there’s the lanky Chris Morris who, dare I say, has had more impact than the costliest player in the IPL history. Amit Mishra, the witty leg-spinner, just about adds the right value to this attack. Corey Anderson, with his left arm medium pace, adds another dimension to the attack. Collectively, they have been bowling tight lines and haven’t conceded too much.The fact that two of their five biggest wins have come in this IPL after they defeated Pune by 97 runs and Punjab yesterday by 51 runs, speaks volumes about how incredibly has the bowling unit delivered. Add to this the fact that the three other wins came either in or before 2011 says it all! Moreover, Delhi’s economy rate of 6.16 between the 16th and 20th over is the best in this IPL. Talk about containing the opposition.
There simply is a lot of variety in their bowling, which is why they’ve managed to keep the oppositions guessing and have never let them settle into a rhythm. Yes, this is IPL, this is T20 and things can change pretty quickly. But with the way the Daredevils have performed, it looks like they are going to have a great time this season.