Tagged as the perennial underperformers in the Indian Premier League (IPL) - Delhi Daredevils are looking for a change in fortune in the 11th edition of the T20 extravaganza. With a new captain at their helm, Delhi are certainly looking to put up a special performance in the upcoming edition of IPL under the leadership of Gautam Gambhir. Hailed as one of the most successful skipper in the IPL history - Gambhir requested his former franchise Kolkata Knight Riders not to bid or use the Right To Match (RTM) card on him in the Player Auction event.
Bought at a bargain price of Rs 2.8 crore, Gambhir was an automatic choice as the captain for the Delhi-based franchise who are looking to win their maiden IPL title. The 36-year old cricketer is a proven campaigner when it comes to the shorter format and has shown his captaincy credentials by taking KKR to two IPL trophies (2012 and 2014). The same will be expected from him while playing for DD particularly in the last five editions of the league. Gambhir has played 148 matches in IPL, in which he has scored 4,133 runs at a very good T20 average of 31.55.
In the last edition of IPL, Delhi Daredevils finished sixth on the table, failing to secure the playoffs spot. In the first-ever player retention event at the start of January, the franchise has chosen to retain three players from the 2017 squad. They showed faith in the young Indian talent and have retained Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant and dynamic South African all-rounder Chris Morris.
Unlike previous editions - Daredevils have a rather settled-looking team after the reshuffle at the auctions early this year in January. With some good research, the DD think-tank had built a good all-round squad covering bases in all the departments. The likes of Munro, Maxwell, Roy, Iyer, Pant, Shaw and Morris add some explosive firepower with the bat. Whereas, the presence of world-class quicks like Rabada, Shami and Boult provide more impetus to the franchise.
Also, DD's spin-bowling options are also enviable with Amit Mishra, Jayant Yadav and Shabaz Nadeem in their ranks. The trio have the desired skill set to trouble the best of the batting line-ups. In Sandeep Lamichhane, a 17-year-old Nepalese leg-spinner, DD have an X-factor youngster who could be the next Rashid Khan.
There is only one area of concern their little-inexperienced middle-order which looks way too dependent Australian powerhouse - Glenn Maxwell. Skipper Gambhir will have a tough time to strike the right chord when it comes to choosing the batting order but with a proven record he has stats to back him. Daredevils play their first match in the Indian Premier League on the 8th of April against the Kings XI Punjab at 4:00 pm (IST).
DELHI DAREDEVILS 2018 SQUAD
Gautam Gambhir (C), Rishabh Pant, Chris Morris, Shreyas Iyer, Glenn Maxwell, Jason Roy, Colin Munro, Mohammed Shami, Kagiso Rabada, Amit Mishra, Prithvi Shaw, Rahul Tewatia, Vijay Shankar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Shabaz Nadeem, Dan Christian, Jayant Yadav, Gurkeerat Singh, Trent Boult, Manjot Kalra, Abhishek Sharma, Sandeep Lamichanne, Sayan Ghosh.