IPL 2018: SWOT analysis of the Delhi Daredevils

Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir
©REUTERS
 

‘Great cry and little wool’ is what perfectly fits the bill for the Delhi Daredevils. DD has been one team which has failed to put a good show in the last 8 years of the IPL after making the semifinals in the first two seasons.

In these 8 years, it has only been once that DD has got to the playoffs. The side has nothing but their own instability to blame for this, be it with their mercurial captaincy choices or the core group of players. With each of Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Dinesh Karthik, James Hopes, Mahela Jayawardene, Ross Taylor, David Warner, Kevin Pietersen, Zaheer Khan and Karun Nair being passed on the captaincy hat, there certainly seems to be an absence of a set plan.

DD players have failed to understand their role due to excessive chopping and changing and as a result, they have not been able to perform to their potential. However, this year the franchise has built a truly balanced side and start the season as one of the favorites for the trophy. With that in mind, let’s have a look at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the Delhi Daredevils in IPL 2018.

Strengths

Gautam Gambhir makes a comeback to his home franchise of Delhi after seven long years. It is not only his dynamic captaincy but his consistency with the bat which will come in handy for DD. Gambhir is a bit more than just a captain; he has the flair for leadership and the capability of instilling the hunger of winning in the team.

In this year’s auctions, DD have also managed to pick suitable backups for most of their players. Delhi have two of the most lethal overseas pacers in Trent Boult and Kagiso Rabada. In the leg spinners department, young spinner Sandeep Lamichhane from Nepal will join hands with the experienced Amit Mishra for the franchise in this season.

Weaknesses

It is actually hard to find any blatant weakness the first time you glance at DD’s squad. The only headache the side would have is to come out with their best playing XI. The franchise has roped in multiple players for the same job with almost identical skill sets, which makes it very tough to make the better choice out of the available options. For instance, Colin Munro and Jason Roy are both explosive opening batsmen who would compete against each other for the same spot.

Similarly, both Shahbaz Nadeem and Jayant Yadav are Indian spinners who thrive on bowling consistent line and lengths. The only way out in such a case is to take the final call based on current form.

Delhi have heavily invested in all-rounder Chris Morris as they have retained him for 7.1 crores. However, the team has also become a little over reliant on the lanky South African. DD are expecting the Protea to bowl his complete quota of overs and at the same time score some quick runs lower down the order.

Opportunities

Tamil Nadu all-rounder Vijay Shankar put up a decent show in the Nidahas Trophy with the bowl in hand but did not get too many chances to showcase his batting talent. The only time he got a chance to bat was on the big night of the final where he choked badly and failed to get going. This year’s IPL would bring an opportunity for the 27-year-old to prove that he is actually a much better batsman than what the cricketing fraternity has seen.

Prithvi Shaw is another upcoming talent and is being considered the next big thing in Indian cricket. Due to Shaw’s batting style, many have associated the right hander’s name with Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar. The mature manner in which the Mumbai Ranji batsman led India in the U-19 World Cup to win the trophy and his own batting achievements have created an atmosphere of expectation around him. Now is Shaw’s chance at the big stage compete with the big boys and prove his mettle.

Threats

As far as the Indian pacers are concerned, the only hotshot that DD have is Mohammad Shami. Shami would be lent assistance by young Indian bowlers like Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan and Sayan Ghosh who are relatively wet behind their ears.

With the quota of four overseas players, Delhi cannot afford more than two pure overseas bowlers if they plan to play both Chris Morris and Glen Maxwell. In such a case, DD would have to count on Indian pacers to give them half a dozen overs.

To be forthright, Shami is not considered to be the best of bowlers in T20 cricket and is already going through a lot of turmoil in his personal life. If the quicksilver pacer has frequent off-days, the franchise may end up leaking plenty of runs.

© Cricket World 2018