Delhi Daredevils (DD) is the only team that didn’t retain a single player during the IPL auction which in a way describes their mindset for this season.
They want a fresh start with an all-new set of players after a series of failures in the previous editions of the IPL. They are yet to make it to the final of the IPL and it is a tough job to find a reason why.
The biggest buy (not in terms of money) for them in this year’s auction was of course England’s Kevin Pietersen who will be leading the team in this year’s IPL. They invested a whopping US$ 2.08 million to buy wicket-keeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik and only time will tell whether it was a smart bid.
Other than Karthik, DD has a couple of good Indian batsmen in the likes of Manoj Tiwary and Murali Vijay who are quite experienced and are certain to make it into the playing XI.
Talking of overseas batsmen they have Ross Taylor, JP Duminy and Quinton de Kock in their kitty but I don’t see de Kock getting a match. The batting line-up of DD definitely looks very solid - just like every other season - but the only thing that has to seen is whether they can play as a unit this time around.
They might struggle to choose their opening batsmen but the middle order is well settled.
Like their batting department, the bowling line-up does not look that strong on paper. Daredevils lack match-winners on the bowling front which is definitely an area of concern for them. Even though they have a couple of good overseas bowlers like Nathan Coulter-Nile and Wayne Parnell but I don’t see them running through the batting orders of their opponents.
Jaydev Unadkat and Mohammed Shami are the Indian pacers who will definitely make it into the playing XI. The bowler to watch out for is Siddarth Kaul who was the second highest wicket-taker in the 2012-13 Ranji Trophy season and the highest wicket-taker for his state team, Punjab. He might be the surprise element in Delhi Daredevil’s bowling lineup.
They may also rely on New Zealand all-rounder Jimmy Neesham to bowl some overs and to play some cameos with the bat. Leg-spinner Rahul Sharma and left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem will be the first and second choice spinners for Delhi respectively.
Looking at the Delhi squad, I don’t see any overseas pacer being picked up in playing XI but there is a chance for Neesham who can play as a bowling all-rounder. The other three overseas players who are most likely to make the XI will be Pietersen, Duminy and Taylor.
The chances of Delhi Daredevils will rely heavily on how Kevin Pietersen plays and the hope that their Indian bowlers perform well.
© Cricket World 2014