Gambhir steps down as DD captain

Shreyas Iyer has been appointed as his successor. Gambhir has had a subdued start to the IPL, with 85 runs from six games rarely doing justice to his batting nous. Shreyas has looked in fine nick, scoring 151 runs in his six appearances.

Gambhir, with 85 runs from six games this season, has rarely done justice to his batting nous.   -  AP

Gautam Gambhir’s much-projected “homecoming” as skipper of the Delhi Daredevils has ended.

With Delhi languishing at the bottom of the points tally in IPL 2018, Gambhir stepped down as captain, passing the baton to 23-year old batsman Shreyas Iyer.

Confirming the development, Gambhir said, "I thought that I had not contributed enough. I had to take the responsibility being the leader of the ship. I feel this is the right time (to step down as captain). We are very much in the competition.

"There's no pressure from the franchise. They’ve been very supportive of the decision. When your conscience says it’s the right time, you just take that.”

Asked to be more specific, Gambhir said, "Maybe I was too desperate to turn things around and at times, it can backfire as well.

"Sometimes you realise that, maybe, I just could not handle the pressure, which came with the position and the responsibility that I was given.

Gambhir, who has 85 runs in five innings, said, "Maybe coming back to Delhi (after playing for Kolkata Knight Riders for seven seasons) was an emotional decision. Sometimes your emotions get the better of you. That’s the only thing I can think of at this moment. It’s early in the tournament to reflect on what actually went wrong (with DD’s performance so far)."

DD’s CEO Hemant Dua confirmed that Gambhir would, "continue to be a player-mentor and play a bigger role for all of us."

On his part, Iyer said, "I think it is a great honour to lead Delhi Daredevils. We still have a lot of potential as a team to win the tournament.

"We have eight games in our hands. There are a lot of us who believe that we can do something great. And obviously, with the help of them, I don’t see any negative thoughts coming to my mind."

Coach Ricky Ponting congratulated Gambhir for putting the team ahead of self. "Having been in the same situation many years ago, I know it’s a tough decision to make…, to put the hand up and say his performance has not been good enough."