GL v DD: It’s time for Shreyas Iyer to fire

Iyer’s drop in form is most unexpected because he was in terrific form for Mumbai in this season’s Ranji Trophy. He has an attacking mindset and likes to hit the new ball to all parts; but this season’s IPL has been so cruel to him.

Delhi Daredevils will hope Shreyas Iyer will bounce back from his sudden dip in form.   -  SPORTZPICS

There is a glaring anomaly in the Delhi Daredevils’ run-getters list in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL), and that’s Shreyas Iyer’s low aggregate in five of his six outings. He’s collected a meagre 22 runs from 33 balls with a high score of 19. In three matches he was dismissed for zero and against Kings XI Punjab, he made three. Clearly the Daredevils have suffered heavily because of Iyer’s poor run. He is among the three Indian batsmen in the Daredevil’s top order, the other two being Sanju Samson and Karun Nair.

Thankfully for the Daredevils, which will complete its seventh league match against the Gujarat Lions here on Tuesday, Nair and Samson have played their part in four good wins. It could have been five, only if Chris Morris’ lashing (82 off 32 balls) of the Lions attack at the Feroz Shah Koltla five days ago had turned the riveting anecdote in his team’s favour. The Lions eked out a one run win and is sitting pretty on top of the points table despite two defeats.

With the tournament at the half-way mark for the Daredevils, mentor Rahul Dravid and skipper Zaheer Khan would obviously like Iyer to repair the malfunctioning aspects of his game – technique, temperament, approach, attitude or whatever – and get cracking. His early departure has put immense pressure on the daring South African left hander Quinton de Kock, who was instrumental in turning around the match against Royal Challengers Bangalore with a 51-ball 108. After the blazing knock against Virat Kohli’s side, the 23-year-old left hander has been rather quiet to, making 9, 5 and 1 in his next three innings.

The Daredevils made a great investment in Iyer following his deeds for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy season in 2014-15 and the right hander turned out to be the find making 439 runs in 14 matches in his first IPL season last year. Iyer’s drop in form is most unexpected because he was in terrific form for Mumbai in this season’s Ranji Trophy. He has an attacking mindset and likes to hit the new ball to all parts; but this season’s IPL has been so cruel to him. It’s time he picks up the pieces for the Daredevils and his own good.

While Iyer has struggled, Karnataka’s Nair has now drawn the attention of the national selectors with his remarkable show of poise and ambition with two half century knocks; a 42-ball unbeaten 54 against RCB that took the load off de Kock and also a splendid 50-ball 68 against Kolkata Knight Riders.

Samson made his presence felt on occasions, and the Daredevils think tank would have been happy to see Morris wield his bat with power and some finesse against the Lions, Carlos Braithwaite strike it rich with bat and ball against KKR and also Sam Billings make a rousing 54 against the same team.

The Daredevils bowlers have taken 30 wickets with leg-spinner Amit Mishra leading the tally with eight. The match will be played on the same pitch that helped the Lions’ Shivil Kaushik and KXIP spinners; surely, the Daredevils will think hard before picking its XI. The Daredevils has shown some spunk this season would like to conclude the first half on a positive note.

Support Sportstar


Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.

  Dugout videos