Rahul Dravid, coach of IPL franchise Delhi Daredevils has said losing players like Quinton De Kock and JP Duminy is a big blow for the team ahead of the upcoming tenth edition of Indian Premier League (IPL),
“It is obviously a big blow when you lose big players like JP Duminy and Quinton De Kock. 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. We do have talented players like Sam Billings and hopefully, they can go up and perform.”
JP Duminy pulled out of the league on 20th March citing personal reasons, whereas, Quinton De Kock hasn’t recovered from an injured index finger, which he suffered during the second Test match against South Africa in Wellington.
Though he played the third Test match in Hamilton, but still needs four to six weeks to recover in time for the Champions Trophy.
Dravid admitted the team can replace Duminy some or the other way but accepted the fact that it will not be easy for the franchise to call in someone, who can fill in the boots of de Kock, who was the highest run-scorer for the team last year,
“We have all-rounders like Corey Anderson and Angelo Mathews so we hope that these boys can stand up and perform and in some way replace JP. But yes, Quinton is a big loss because he played so many games for us and was one of our main batsmen. We had built him up for this season, but this is how life is and you cannot do much about it.”
The former Indian skipper further praised the captain of the side, Zaheer Khan, as Dravid said he is an inspiration for the number of youngsters in the side,
“We have a lot of youngsters in the team and that is where we needed Zaheer as he brings in that knowledge and sense of calm in the dressing room. You need that when you are playing a tournament like the IPL. Also, a lot of the youngsters look up to Zaheer as he is an inspiration.”
Delhi Daredevils will open its IPL campaign against Royal Challengers Bangalore at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on April 8.
Delhi Daredevils squad – Zaheer Khan(c), Angelo Mathews, Corey Anderson, Kagiso Rabada, Pat Cummins, Ankit Bawne, Aditya Tare, Murugan Ashwin, Navdeep Saini, Shashank Singh, Mohammed Shami, Shahbaz Nadeem, Jayant Yadav, Amit Mishra, Shreyas Iyer, Sam Billings, Sanju Samson, Chris Morris, Carlos Brathwaite, Karun Nair, Rishabh Pant, Chama Milind, Khaleel Ahmed, Pratyush Singh