Delhi Daredevils has always begun with high expectations from its fans and some tall claims from its management, but ended up flat in its Indian Premier League campaign.
It lacked the local flavour mostly. There were seasons when it appeared to have the stuff to go all the way, but it has failed to make even one final. The reasons were many, but somehow Daredevils could not strike a winning combination.
Once again, this year, the combination looks solid on paper. The management has backed its faith in youngsters and the choice of under-19 stars — Manjot Kalra and Prithvi Shaw — shows the intent. Kalra is a home-grown talent and Shaw is rated high by none other than Dilip Vengsarkar, who broke into the Indian team when he was not even 20.
Jason Roy, Shreyas Iyer, Chris Morris, Colin Munro, Glenn Maxwell, Vijay Shankar, Rishabh Pant, Naman Ojha and Gautam Gambhir make up the batting line-up. Pant is a potential match-winner and Iyer has begun to make his presence felt in the top league. Iyer, backed by mentor Pravin Amre, is a natural stroke-player and eases into his role as a key batsman in the squad. Pant would carry the batting on his shoulders because this format suits him the most. His ability to destroy the bowling on any surface makes him one of the most dangerous batsmen in this format. Consistency, however, will be the key because Pant is critical to Daredevils doing well.
Vijay Shankar will be watched after his recent elevation to the Indian team. His bowling can also provide the team with options.
Bowling is the strong point for Daredevils where Trent Boult, Mohammad Shami, Amit Mishra, Jayant Yadav and Shahbaz Nadeem bring enormous experience. Yadav could turn out to be the key bowler and he has also matured as an all-rounder. The side will miss Kagiso Rabada.
There is a lot of promise in the squad this time and Daredevils should look forward to play to its potential.
Gautam Gambhir (captain), Jason Roy, Manjot Kalra, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer, Abhishek Sharma, Amit Mishram Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel, Kagiso Rabada, Mohammad Shami, Sandeep Lamichchane, Sayan Ghosh, Shahbaz Nadeem, Trent Boult, Chris Morris, Colin Munro, Daniel Christian, Glenn Maxwell, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Jayant Yadav, Rahul Tewatia, Vijay Shankar, Naman Ojha and Rishabh Pant.
Player to watch
Rishabh Pant is a dynamite at the crease with his wide range of shots. With an amazing capacity to get into rhythm from the very first ball, Pant can swing the game his team’s way in no time. His monstrous six-hitting ability can demoralise any attack and he would be at his best on home turf.