IPL 2017 : Can Delhi Daredevils end their title drought inspite of being injury hit? – For some reasons Delhi Daredevils have forever been the franchise which has never quite kept the balance of the side the same.
Continuing the trend, they go into IPL 2017 banking on a bunch of youngsters to deliver the goods. They finished sixth among the eight teams last season, which was their best performance since they last made it to the playoffs in 2012.
Going into this year’s auction, Daredevils’ went on to spend most of their wealth in pursuit of adding a strong overseas contingent.
However, a major setback popped up for the side ahead of the season as De Kock was ruled out of the tournament due to a finger injury and JP Duminy pulled out his name citing personal reasons.
Daredevils have been struggling to make a mark in the cash-rich Indian Premier League in recent times and the absence of these two key players has now plunged them into a crisis even before their season kicks-off.
De Kock, has been a major asset to the Capital’s IPL side after joining them in 2014. He was Daredevils’ top scorer in last IPL collecting 445 runs.
Considering the fact that De Kock was the one who gave momentum to the side at the top of the order, his loss creates a void which will be pretty difficult to fill in adding up to the tension bar of the team management. His injury will take up at least four weeks to heal as per South African team’s doctors.
While Duminy scored 191 runs during the last season, his absence will surely be felt in the middle order which now heavily depends on the domestic talent and seems to lack the firepower.
Altogether, DD have lost two match-winners which will largely affect the balance and composition of their team, denting their chances ahead of the campaign.
Delhi Daredevils mentor Rahul Dravid was quoted saying, “It’s obviously a big blow when you lose big players like JP Duminy and Quinny. If these things happen before the auction, then it is easier because you can plan better. But then this is how it goes and you cannot help it”.
The franchise is now pinning their hopes on the likes of younger players which include Sam Billings, Karun Nair, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson, Rishabh Pant and co. All of them have grabbed the eyeballs with their performance over the last few months.
They also have the much-needed match-winning all-rounders in the form of Carlos Braithwaite, Anderson, Chris Morris and Jayant Yadav which will to a certain extent provide them with the lost balance on their side.
Adding fuel to the flame, there lies a question mark on the fitness of the Sri-Lankan all-rounder Angelo Mathews. However, they still have a reasonable cover with the signings of Corey Anderson, Pat Cummins and Kagiso Rabada, who was their most expensive buy at a whopping INR 5 crores.
Zaheer Khan will be leading the team again, however, he hasn’t played competitive cricket since the last IPL and age is also not by his side.
Player to watch out for: Kagiso Rabada was DD most expensive buy at this year’s auction.
The South-African speedster is considered as one of the modern-day sensation as he has the ability to land the ball in the block hole at a good pace, particularly in the depth overs.
Daredevils’ would certainly be banking high on him.
Author’s call: Delhi Daredevils begin their IPL campaign at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru where they take on the Royal Challengers Bangalore on April 8.
Having already hurt by the loss of De Kock & JP Duminy, they will be hoping that they don’t lose any more players as they get into the tenth edition of the league.
Among all the sad news of being injury-hit, their fans will still be hoping that the franchise will end its title drought this time around.