Delhi Daredevils have amassed a squad brimming with talent and potential yet they can’t quite seem to crack the code to reach the playoff stages. Most successful teams thrive on consistency and experience. When you see Mohammad Shami, who could walk into any IPL team, being benched, you expect the team to be somewhere near the top of the table. Much fuss has been made about the batting make-up of the Delhi team, with regular openers in Karun Nair, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant batting in the middle order, whereas middle order batsmen Sam Billings and Sanju Samson have been asked to open. If Delhi have been tasked with improving the all-round capabilities of a player, they’re doing a mighty fine job. Delhi have not been able to field a settled combination, making changes every game, and disrupting the balance of the team.
In T20 cricket, greater emphasis is laid on the extra skillsets a player provides, a “horses for courses” approach. Delhi have opted for this strategy since the start of last season but thus far it has failed to reap rewards for the outfit and it is about time they opt for a change.
Auction strategy gone wrong?
It is pretty evident that the Daredevils have a strong inclination towards youngsters. They lacked an experienced Indian batsman in the middle order, they could have gone for Saurabh Tiwary to fill that void. Their batting was thin last year and with their inclination to play only one overseas batsman,they were undercooked and the subsequent pullouts of JP Duminy and Quinton De Kock have hit them hard, lacking an impact player to tear attacks apart at the top. They could still look for a replacement to fill that void, but with Sam Billings leaving the squad they’re short on overseas batsman and signing Evin Lewis who has a T20 career strike rate of 136 could be a shrewd gamble.
Shahbaz Nadeem: A case of mistaken identity?
In the first three games, he was the pick of the bowlers for the Delhi team, troubling batsmen with his clever change of pace and lengths. He took four wickets at an economy rate of just above five, but he was dropped in the fourth game in favour of Amit Mishra who took the same amount of wickets in the first three games but at an economy rate of 8.33. Shahbaz Nadeem has been one of the best bowlers in the domestic circuit in the past two years and certainly deserved his place in the team.
Under Utilisation of Resources
Rishabh Pant creamed the ball to all parts of the ground in his first couple of games, however, he is held back and at certain times denied an opportunity to make an impact on the game. As the cricket paradigm goes, the man in form should face the maximum number of deliveries, there is a strong case for promoting Pant up the order.
Chris Morris has been the main man for Delhi with the bat as well as ball. However, this season at certain clutch moments he was held back a little which eventually was the difference between their victory and defeat. Optimal use of Morris will be crucial to Delhi’s chances of success.
Karun Nair has had a torrid season this year, having just scored 63 runs in the six games he has played and it is time Delhi drop the Indian international and blood another youngster in Ankit Bawne. Having just turned 24, he’s hit 18% of deliveries for boundaries in domestic T20, combined with an excellent average which translates well to having great potential for IPL success.