We take a look at the Delhi Daredevils in the build-up to the new IPL season.The men from India’s most populous city are seen as the IPL’s perennial under-achievers. They finished bottom of the table in 2013 and 2014, second last in 2015 and third last in the 2016 edition of the tournament.
They’ll need to put in an almighty display this season if they are to have any chance of making it to the play-offs, especially with the absence of some key players through injury and withdrawals.
While they made some pretty solid buy in this year’s auction, I still don’t see the Daredevils pulling up any trees. Kagiso Rabada, Pat Cummins, Angelo Matthews and Corey Anderson all come into the side following the auction. It’s just as well Matthews and Anderson come into the side following the finger injury to Quinton de Kock (which will keep him out of the entire tournament) and JP Duminy withdrawing from the competition for personal reasons.
De Kock’s absence will mean that Sam Billings will take the gloves for the tournament and could even open the batting alongside Shreya Iyer. I just feel that the loss of de Kock will hamstring any ambitions that this side had of reaching the play-offs. The South African opener is probably one of the most talented limited-overs batsmen in the world at the moment – his absence will be felt, make no mistake about it.
What they lack in the top order, they Daredevils more than make up for with one of the most exciting middle orders around. Matthews, Anderson, Chris Morris and Carlos Braithwaite have all proven themselves on the international stage and will add impetus in the middle and latter overs – although two of them will likely have to sit out with Rabada and Billings starting.
One to Watch: Amit Mishra
Amit Mishra is the nearly-man of Indian cricket. He’s found himself mostly on the periphery of the national set-up with Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh keeping him out of the side in in the 2000s while Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have limited his appearances over the last few years.
He took the second-most wickets of any spinner in the competition behind Yuzvendra Chahal last season, finishing on 13 wickets with an average of 26.46. His economy rate of 7.47 illustrates just how difficult it can be for batsmen to pick the wily old leg-spinner. His subtle variations and excellent use of flight will prove crucial on your typical IPL ‘roads’.
It looks as though the Daredevils are in for a long, hard slog in IPL 10. The loss of two key players before a ball is bowled would hurt event the strongest teams in the tournaments. Couple this with the fact that they may lose both Chris Morris and Sam Billings midway through the tournament (to international duty) and their prospects don’t look so hot.