Delhi Daredevils is one of the only two full time teams in the IPL that have not won the IPL even once. In fact the other team, Royal challengers of Bangalore have reached the finals at least but Delhi has not gone even that far. Though the daredevils started well in the first couple of seasons but since then it has been a downhill journey barring 2012 where the topped the league stages. In fact, last 3 seasons of IPL has seen Delhi languishing at the bottom of the points table. (Last in 2013, 2014 and second last in 2015).
The Delhi Daredevils were one of the strongest teams in the initial years of IPL.
With players like Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, David Warner, AB De Villiers, Tilakratne Dilshan in the batting order and their bowling in hands of stalwarts such as Glen Mcgrath, Mohd. Asif, Amit Mishra. And the team did not disappoint either, by making it to the semifinals in the first two editions of IPL. In fact in the second season, Delhi topped the league table, a feat which they achieved again in 2013. But on all these occasions, the team could not cross the penultimate hurdle. Delhi Daredevils fans have always supported there team and it is evident by the attendance of Ferozshah Kotla ground in the home matches of the daredevils. But, the overall performance of their team is less than ordinary. The Daredevils hold the dubious records of most defeats (67) in the IPL overall and the most consecutive defeats (11) 2014-15.
As they say, bygones are bygones. This season brings new hopes along with new players for the team and the fans.
Delhi Daredevils went into this year’s auction with the biggest purse and made some smart buys as well. Though the exit of Yuvraj Singh means there is no big Indian player in the team but the present lot is more than useful for the shorter format of the game. Foreign players like Quinton De kock, JP Duminy, Nathan Coulter Nile, Imran Tahir and Albie Morkel have been retained in the side, along with the domestic run machine – Shreyas Iyer and this year`s captain Zaheer Khan. New buys for this year include Carlos Braithwaite, the strong west Indian fresh from a world cup winning performance, Pawan Negi, the delhi left arm spinner who is also a handy lower order batsman, promising batsmen in Karun Nair and Sanju Samson and the south African bowling all rounder Chris Morris.
This new team does not have the star players but they definitely have players to get the job done. History of T20 cricket has proven time and again that this format does not pay heeds to reputations, a couple of overs of extra ordinary batting or brilliant bowling can change the match on its head. And the daredevils have many such piece and bits players who can come in handy for them.
There is more firepower in batting with explosive openers Quinton De kock and Shreyas Iyer and depth in the in the batting with bowlers like Pawan Negi and Nathan Coulter Nile who are more than handy with the bat.
Middle order is stitched together with experienced JP Duminy and the finisher Carlos Braithwaite. Seasoned Campaigner Zaheer Khan spearheads the fast bowling with Mohd. Shami and Chris Morris and then there is the pair of leg spinners in Amit Mishra and Imran Tahir. This certainly is a more potent team than we saw in the last few seasons. Will they deliver this time? Let’s wait and watch.