Rahul Dravid, the mentor of Delhi Daredevils has hailed Rishabh Pant and said that the left-handed batsman will become a very important player for India in future,
“Rishabh played very well this year, played very good innings, he entered the tournament at a very a difficult time. He did consistently well throughout the season. I am sure he will go on to become a very important player for India.”
The 19-year-old player emerged as the second highest run-scorer for his side by the virtue of scoring 366 runs in 14 innings. His brilliant show has already helped him to be on the standby list for the ICC Champions Trophy and we might see him making it to the India A side for the tour to South Africa in the month of June and July.
Speaking on the journey of Delhi Daredevils this season, Dravid said that the side faltered at crucial junctures and lost close games,
“It’s disappointing obviously, had hoped to qualify at the start of the tournament but there were some close matches in the middle which we couldn’t win. You need eight wins to qualify in this tournament, we got seven last year, six this year and I think the close games we lost probably cost us.”
Dravid highlighted the fact that missing out on services of crucial players like Quinton de Kock and JP Duminy had a big impact on the performance of the side in the league,
“Unfortunately for us at the start of the season, after the auction, Quinton (de Kock) and JP (Duminy), who were probably our two experienced players, pulled out of the IPL because of injury and we had to look for replacements at the last minute and, which, I guess, isn’t easy when most of the players are taken.”
For the fifth consecutive time, Delhi failed to qualify for the second round which does hurt them. This time though, they came up with few improved performances but were let down by the inexperienced batting line-up, a fact which was raised by Delhi skipper Zaheer Khan as well.
The inexperience in batting can solely be blamed, as Delhi bowlers had the best economy rate for more than half of the season but batsmen weren’t consistent enough, as none of them could really perform on regular basis.
The biggest surprise was Karun Nair being given the job to lead the side when Zaheer Khan was injured, as Nair was himself struggling with the bat. Though he returned back in form but again, the inexperience came into play and he also delivered in patches.
As there are reports of an open IPL auction in 2018, so Delhi will have an opportunity to add experienced players to their lineup in a hope to qualify for the finals for the first time in the history of IPL.