Bhaskar: ‘Delhi cricket undergoing transition’

Such was the wealth of talent in Delhi. Times have changed now. Delhi’s reputation stands dented, on and off the field, and this season underlined this aspect in bold terms. Delhi has no title to showcase.

K. P. Bhaskar (right) was part of the era when Delhi boasted of a steady stream of talented players and dominated the domestic circuit.   -  Akhilesh Kumar

There was a time when Manoj Prabhakar, Gursharan Singh and Ajay Sharma, known performers on the domestic circuit, had to sit out as reserves while Delhi pounded the opponents.

Such was the wealth of talent in Delhi. Times have changed now. Delhi’s reputation stands dented, on and off the field, and this season underlined this aspect in bold terms. Delhi has no title to showcase.

K. P. Bhaskar was part of the era when Delhi boasted of a steady stream of talented players and dominated the domestic circuit. “It was a fantastic period when we learnt from the likes of Bedi (Bishan Singh) paa, Jimmy paa (Mohinder) Amarnath, Maddi paa (Madan Lal).

The dressing room was a great place to receive cricket education. Yes much has changed but then we are going through a transition period and the talent is just waiting to play to its potential in the near future,” said Bhaskar ahead of the final match of the season.

Delhi, with two victories, plays Uttar Pradesh in the last fixture of the Vijay Hazare cricket tournament on Monday. The match holds academic interest for the teams with both out of the qualification race. Bhaskar, however, insisted there was pride at stake even if the qualification race had reached a dead end.

“Please remember the team was not at its full strength right through the season. This is no excuse. We had our moments and somehow did not grab the chances. The boys did their best. I am sure they would have learnt their lessons to be better prepared for the next season. I am convinced there is talent that can be honed,” Bhaskar painted a healthy picture.

Delhi, however, has suffered from lack of consistency. The seniors, Gautam Gambhir and Shikhar Dhawan, have not been at their best. For Unmukt Chand, it was a season of despair as he lost form at a critical phase of his career.

A batsman bestowed with huge talent, Chand lost his place in the squad for this tournament but earned a recall to present his credentials brightly with a half century against Kerala in Delhi’s previous match.

The emphasis on horses for courses too has not worked well for Delhi as injuries to bowlers at different stages hurt the team. The state of affairs at the Ferozeshah Kotla has also influenced the overall preparation of the team this season which saw the selectors replace Rishabh Pant replace Gambhir as the captain for the Vijay Hazare tournament.

A win against Uttar Pradesh at the KIIT cricket ground would be a pleasant farewell of an otherwise forgettable season for Delhi.

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