Dravid reflects on Delhi Daredevils’ season

Rahul Dravid led the Delhi Daredevils on a thanks-giving lap at the Ferozeshah Kotla on Sunday night even as he tried hard to hide his disappointment following a close defeat at the hands of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

“We would have played seven-eight close matches, including tonight’s (RCB). We won two of them. Maybe if we had won two more of those matches the situation would have been different."   -  Sportzpics

Rahul Dravid led the Delhi Daredevils on a thanks-giving lap at the Ferozeshah Kotla on Sunday night even as he tried hard to hide his disappointment following a close defeat at the hands of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). With six wins and eight defeats, Daredevils took the sixth slot in the table.

“We are disappointed. We had expectations of qualifying but it did not happen. We had some games in the middle (of the tournament) which were close and we could not win them. You come under pressure when you don’t win close games. There were four-five games where we were in winning positions but couldn’t cross the line. In this tournament you have to win the close games,” Dravid said at the end of the team’s Indian Premier League (IPL) journey this year.

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Reflecting on the season, Dravid lamented, “We would have played seven-eight close matches, including tonight’s. We won two of them. Maybe if we had won two more of those matches the situation would have been different. We did try. Some injuries to players before the start of the tournament did impact the balance of the team. We did not play to our potential. You need at least eight victories to make it. Last year we had seven wins. This year six.”

The Daredevils mentor, while acknowledging the absence of Quinton De Kock and JP Duminy due to injuries, observed the team did its best to keep faith in the Indian youngsters. “Our batsmen are all very talented. Probably they are less experienced. In the middle of a big auction you are not going to get big Indian players. Nobody releases experienced Indian players. We honestly took the decision to back the young Indian talent and balance it out with some foreign experienced players. Unfortunately Quinton and JP pulled out due to injury and that suddenly made us look for replacements at the last minute. And it is not easy,” he bemoaned.

“We tried to go with a slightly more experienced bowling attack. I think there’s good ability in the group but maybe we didn’t have the luck. But I don’t want to make excuses. We had our opportunities,” Dravid added.

He noticed quality in the top four teams. “Mumbai Indians look like they have got a really balanced side. Having said that KKR has shown they have got some dangerous players. Rising Pune Supergiant to me is performing really well collectively as a unit. Sunrisers have the quality like David Warner, Shikhar Dhawan, Yuvraj Singh, Rashid Khan. For me the team whose players stand up during the course of the next week will win.”

Dravid praised Delhi’s young wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant. “He played well in this tournament. Most of the youngsters have performed well but maybe they would have to learn to be more consistent in the future. They have lot of ability and Rishabh has demonstrated it in this tournament by playing some good knocks in difficult situations.

“He had a sad start when he lost his father before the tournament started. It reflects his mental strength that he could emerge from the personal loss and perform consistently right through the season. I am confident he would become a very good player for India in the future.”

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