Tagged as the perennial underperformers in the Indian Premier League (IPL) - Delhi Daredevils are looking for a change in fortune in the 2018 edition of the T20 extravaganza. The DD’s have always found it difficult to get going particularly in the last five editions of the league. Be it due to lack of star power, T20 specialists or experienced heads in the middle – the Daredevils have never been able to secure the critical moments in the league.
In the last edition of IPL, Delhi Daredevils finished sixth on the table, failing to secure the playoffs spot. Before the player auctions later this month, the franchise has chosen to retain three players from the 2017 squad.
IPL 2018 Auction: Date, time, venue, list of players to go under hammer; here's all you need to know
The Delhi-based franchise shown faith in the young Indian talent and have retained Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant. Lacking any big names in the batting order, both Iyer and Pant stepped up in the 2017 edition for Delhi and finished as the team’s second and third-highest scorers. Pant scored 366 in 14 outings, Iyer picked up 338 in 12 games.
The 23-year old Iyer has made his debut for Team India against Sri Lanka last year and instantly left an impression in the limited-overs format. He hit two half-centuries for the men in blue in his first ODI series.
Whereas, wicketkeeper-batsman Pant captained Delhi in the Ranji Trophy tournament last year and took them to the finals of the coveted tournament. Recently, the Delhi-born batsman smashed a record hundred off just 32 balls in a North Zone match against Himachal Pradesh at the Ferozeshah Kotla. The knock included 12 thunderous sixes and eight boundaries. Pant remained unbeaten on 116 off 38 balls and guided Delhi to a 10-wicket win in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy.
Other than Pant and Iyer, the Daredevils management have put their money on dynamic South African all-rounder Chris Morris. After representing Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, Morris was signed up by Daredevils ahead of the 2016 season. He was one of the key for Delhi in the ninth edition of the tournament. He played only 9 matches in the last edition for DD, picked 12 wickets and scored 154 runs for the franchise. Morris’ belligerent hitting lower down the order coupled with fiery pace bowling makes him an invaluable asset in any side.
As per the guidelines issued by the IPL governing council, a team can only retain a maximum number of 3 capped Indian players, 2 overseas players and 2 uncapped Indian players. Also, each team can consist of a maximum number of 25 players (up to 8 overseas players) and a minimum of 18.