What exactly has gone wrong with the Delhi Daredevils?
By CricShots - May 1, 2017 8:15 am
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Delhi Daredevils, after today’s thrashing, are almost out of the Indian Premier League 10. They need a miracle of some level now, to qualify in the playoffs. With just two victories off eight games, they need six of their next six to qualify. Another loss and they will crash out of the tournament, like the Royal Challengers Bangalore. And then, it’ll just be a race between them and the Bengaluru based side for the seventh spot.

DD lost their first game of the league, a game Zaheer Khan, their skipper, said they would have won 9 out of 10 times. The next two games saw Delhi post refreshing performances, with Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson coming good. Delhi suddenly had two victories out of three games and looked like a different outfit altogether, a lot different from their previous five editions where they kept posting poor, uninspiring performances, never making it to the playoffs. The Daredevils might just have found the rhythm, fans and experts thought.

They had a Captain in Zaheer Khan who looked calm and composed while leading, and bowled wonderfully too. They had the best bowling line-up; they still have; in Zak, Pat Cummins, Kagiso Rabada, Chris Morris, Corey Anderson and Amit Mishra. They had one of the most proven mentors; the great Rahul Dravid, whose unflinching presence and composed pep talks are among the best you can get as a Team. They had a young batting lineup that looked good, especially after the two lone back-to-back victories. Optimistic fans hoped for a great performance.

Yet, after all this, Delhi flattered to deceive. They have lost five in a row and are now almost out of contention in the league. Qualifying to the playoffs will need a miracle. Delhi will need someone to pull off a heist in every single game from now, something absolutely improbable, if not impossible. Where do their problems lie, one might ask! Well, it’s precisely the young batting lineup that has caused Delhi trouble more often that not. Talking about today’s game, Daredevils crashed to a paltry 67, lowest ever IPL total by a Team batting first; on a relatively good wicket, against only a decent Punjab attack. The game before that, they found themselves gasping for air after being restricted to 161, when 190 looked absolutely gettable at a point.

Sanju Samson is the only Delhi batsman who has done consistently well. Rishabh Pant has shown flashes of brilliance and great promise, but hasn’t been consistent. Karun Nair, who has looked ordinary after the triple-hundred, has been a horrific failure in the IPL; and he was the Captain of the side today, since Zaheer was ruled out because of a poor hamstring, a decision that left us befuddled.

Sanju Samson, Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer and Karun Nair are supposed to be their ‘mainstays’. Pant has scored 150 runs of 8 innings at an average of 18.75. Nari has a paltry 89 off 8 innings at 12.71. Iyer has a respectable 157 off 6 innings at 31. Samson has 289 off 8 innings at 36.12. He has a hundred and a big 50, hence, even he has managed only 100 off another 6 innings, which isn’t exactly a hallmark of consistency. But we will still agree that he has done his bit. Thus, it’s pretty evident that the batting is their only serious concern. These youngsters have no experienced batsman to revolve around – one big performer who can pull off that heist when the chips are down. Delhi lack that. Morris can bat a bit, can hit ridiculously hard down the order but you can’t expect him to play like a regular batsmen.

Delhi, we reckon, missed a trick or two during the February auctions. Like RCB, who are too reliant on Gayle, ABD and Kohli, the DD relied heavily on young batsmen who scored prolifically at the domestic circuit and have no international experience whatsoever. A consistent international performer in the batting order would have helped a great deal. Problem is, DD don’t have even one, while every other franchise has at least two.