We’re midway in the season 9 of the Indian Premier League. And this time for a change, 7/8 teams this year are battling for the top 4 to go through to the playoffs. All teams have been exhibiting their brilliance in this format over the years, but this time surprisingly, it’s Delhi Daredevils who have caught the awe of many cricketing spectators around the world with their exorbitance and their brash style.
Delhi Daredevils of 2016 are backed by the efficient duo of Paddy Upton and the legendary ‘Wall’ Rahul Dravid, the same combo which has paid dividends for Rajasthan Royals over the years till their 2 year suspension came along. Apart from the sideline power they’re led by the heavy experience on the pitch with Indian fast bowling great Zaheer Khan, taking over the leadership responsibilities from JP Duminy. New look (like every year LOL), but this time with a new approach. They’ve rooted to their Galactico policy but this time to a very lesser level. They’ve filled the squad with more of fresh local talents coming up from the U19 World Cup and Ranji sensations. Amongst the foreign exports they’ve got the likes of West Indies’ WT20 hero Carlos Brathwaite, South African all rounder Chris Morris, and English batsman Sam Billings. Whereas the Indian talents include this season’s most expensive Indian Pawan Negi, Karun Nair, Sanju Samson, and also some of India’s best players at the U19WC in Rishabh Pant and Mahipal Lomror. And also retained more than half of their squad from the last season.
From the money spent on most of them sound heavily ridiculous, but the performance all of these have shown are truly amazing. Guys like Brathwaite who wasn’t heard about much before the T20 blitz was bought for a heavy 4.2 cr where his highest score in his 5 year long career was only a 31 in as many played. Guys like Karun Nair was seemed to be overpriced despite his consistency over the years, and etc. This seemed to be a gamble despite the inflation occurring and Delhi’s reluctance to buy them. But nevertheless it’s working out for them.
Along with the new signings, a rejuvenated Mohammed Shami and the evergreen Amit Mishra has been rocking the charts for Delhi this season from the retainers lot. Mishra has been showing stellar consistency from Domestic to representing India and even in the IPL. But it has been a pleasure watching someone like Mohammed Shami get back to his old best where he has been out of action for almost a year due to his recurring hamstring problems. But this year under the guidance of Zaheer Khan and TA Sekar, Shami has been somewhat of a death specialist for Delhi with his booming yorkers and twisted cutters. Combining well with the likes of Morris, Brathwaite and Zaheer himself. He has brought in a lot more of the fear factor to this Delhi Daredevils side. Most notably when Delhi restricted Bangalore and Mumbai despite conceding runs heavily at the early stages.
Along with the bowling, their batting has also been top notch. Guys like JP Duminy, Karun Nair, Sanju Samson, have stepped in day in and day out. Their shot styles have been pleasing to the sight and describes poetry in motion. Though I know I’ve forgotten Quinton De Kock in this case but lately after his match winning ton against Royal Challengers Bangalore, he has been very substandard. His return back to form will be a huge boost to this already dangerous looking Delhi side.
The reasons are mentioned why they’ve been eye pleasing to watch. Hoping that they continue this towards the conclusion of the tournament and push themselves even more to go through to the playoffs. This Delhi is actually ‘Dhuandaar’ and will look to continue being so.