Underwhelming. Irresolute. Laid-back. The journey of the Delhi Daredevils since the inception of the IPL can be framed in these three words. The Daredevils by far, have been the most disappointing outfit of the cash-rich Indian Premier League. The team in Red has struggled endlessly since the past few seasons. They have reasonable fire power in their defenses, but always end up second in a contest. To make matters excruciatingly worse, they fail to even utilize the full talent capacity. To frame it in a bold but justifying way, it is absolutely fair to say that had there been a system to relegate trailing sides; the Delhi side would be the first one to be relegated!
The Daredevils have had some really fascinating names in their side since the first edition itself. But somewhere down the line, these names have not been able to live up to their reputations and deliver the goods for the team based in the Indian capital. More than anything else, the Delhi side has been plagued by severe mismanagement of talent. The Daredevils have not made complete use of their resources. They have often adopted the “start-stop” approach with players, where a player is given a couple of games, but due to failing in just a couple of games, that individual has been dumped. A lot of successful sides have preferred to give failing individuals a rope, so that they gain their confidence and form back.
This time around, the management and the owners have once again opted for a fresh, new looked side. The side has a few players, who can single handedly win games for their sides. But will the Daredevils finally achieve success is what matters!
2008: 4th Place
2009: 3rd Place
2010: 5th Place
2011: 10th Place
2012: 3rd Place
2013: 9th Place
2014: 8th Place
JP Duminy, M Agarwal, K Bharat, N Coulter-Nile, Q de Kock, D Joseph, C Gautam, T Head, Imran Tahir, SS Iyer, K Jadhav, K Jiyas, Z Khan, A Mathews, A Mishra, Mohammed Shami, A Morkel, S Nadeem, G Sandhu, M Stoinis, M Tiwary, S Tiwary, J Unadkat, J Yadav, Yuvraj Singh
With glittering names like Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan, Mohammed Shami and Manoj Tiwary in the squad, the Daredevils need not worry about experience. The Delhi side has a lot of depth and experience. All these reputed names are seasoned campaigners. They know what is exactly needed to win and win big! Experience does hold a lot of value in a tournament like the IPL. The veterans can bring all their experience into play and can take their side to the victorious end. More than anything else, these experienced names can pass on some valuable tips to the youngsters, who have just taken baby steps into high-profile cricket. To sum it up, it is the sheer experience which can get Delhi to the positive side.
One clear weakness which the Delhi Daredevils have is of facing some intense competition from the other sides. The other sides have been way too dominant against the Daredevils. To simplify the theory, one can figure out the following piece of stat: The Daredevils have a win percentage of over 50, against just two sides. Ironically, both the teams are now defunct (Deccan Chargers, Pune Warriors India)! The Delhi side has failed to click together as a unit. However, the team for this edition is a new one, and only time will dictate their success!
This revamped Delhi side has one crystal clear opportunity, which lies ahead. That opportunity is the motivation and the desire to win and succeed. The Daredevils have never even made it to the IPL final, leave alone winning the crown. The management and the coaching staff, who have been with the Daredevils for a really long time now, would want to finally end up on the winning side. From the point of view of the squad members, the motivation factor would be winning the IPL crown as well. From this current pool of players, only Albie Morkel and Manoj Tiwary have been the players to be involved in a winning final. Winning the crown will be a massive motivation for the entire squad, and they would not want to leave any stone unturned for that!
Forecasting the possible threats for the Delhi Daredevils requires no rocket science! In all the previous editions, whenever the Daredevils have lost a game, they have found it very hard to make a comeback. Somewhere down the line, the Daredevils lack the spirit of resilience and fighting back in the critical situations. Another possible threat for them would be captaincy. JP Duminy, the talented South African has been appointed as the captain. But, promoting Duminy as the captain, ahead of Mathews and Yuvraj clearly defies cricketing logic! Mathews has been a successful leader for Sri Lanka, and always leads from the front and by example. Thus, delegating Duminy as the skipper is really baffling.
1. Chennai Super Kings vs Delhi Daredevils – 9th April (8:00 pm) at Chennai
2. Delhi Daredevils vs Rajasthan Royals – 12th April (4:00 pm) at Delhi
3. Kings XI Punjab vs Delhi Daredevils –15th April (8:00 pm) at Pune
4. Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Delhi Daredevils – 18th April (4:00 pm) at Vizag
5. Delhi Daredevils vs Kolkata Knight Riders – 20th April (8:00 pm) at Delhi
6. Delhi Daredevils vs Mumbai Indians – 23rd April (8:00 pm) at Delhi
7. Delhi Daredevils vsRoyal Challengers Bangalore – 26th April (8:00 pm) at Delhi
8. Delhi Daredevils vs Kings XI Punjab – 1st May (4:00 pm) at Delhi
9. Rajasthan Royals vs Delhi Daredevils – 3rd May (8:00 pm) at Mumbai (Brabourne)
10. Mumbai Indians vs Delhi Daredevils – 5th May (8:00 pm) at Mumbai
11. Kolkata Knight Riders vs Delhi Daredevils –7th May (8:00 pm) at Kolkata
12. Delhi Daredevils vs Sunrisers Hyderabad – 9th May (8:00 pm) at Raipur
13. Delhi Daredevils vs Chennai Super Kings – 12th May (8:00 pm) at Raipur
14. Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Delhi Daredevils – 17th May (4:00 pm) at Bangalore
Considering the sheer strength of the other sides, another disappointing season for the Daredevils might be on the cards. An eight finish is a possibility.