Ever since the 7th edition of Indian Premier League started, everyone has been talking about the successes of various teams and the big guns who have performed exceedingly well. Some teams have pleased everyone with their scintillating and clinical performances, while some have had an average IPL season. But there is one team that has been total out of sorts and has failed to put up the right combinations on the field and have thus been underperforming throughout this edition of IPL. This team of Delhi Daredevils has been the biggest disappointment of 2014 IPL season.
“The frustrating thing is that we get so close but don’t get over the finish line. It’s really unfortunate but we’ve to try to win the next game on Sunday and then see what we can do next season. For the kind of effort Gary and the other staff put in behind the scenes, it’s hard to believe that we’ve won only 2 games. We’ve to get the combinations right next season”, a disappointed Kevin Pietersen quoted after their recent defeat against Mumbai Indians.
The auction of 2014 was a good one for the Delhi franchisee. They retained the dazzling South Africa born Englishman Kevin Pietersen. They roped in the Tamil Nadu wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik, making him the one of the costliest players at this year’s auction. They managed to get the talismanic and classy opener Murali Vijay and aggressive Bangalore opener Mayank Agarwal. The big match players like JP Duminy and Ross Taylor were pocketed by the Delhi team at the auctions. The services of South African wicket keeper Quinton de Kock were also fetched by the team. On the bowling front, they had Wayne Parnell, Nathan Coulter Nile and Mohammed Shami to about and were later joined in by Imran Tahir. The team management put forth the name of Kevin Pietersen as the captain and the squad left for the UAE leg of the tournament.
Delhi played their first game against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Kevin Pietersen was down with an injured finger and it was Dinesh Karthik who led the side. RCB thumped Delhi by 8 wickets in the game. In the next game they played, which was against Kolkata Knight Riders, it was a close finish but the DD managed to be on the winning side and registered a 4 wicket win. But a couple of defeats right after that put the Delhi Daredevils on the back seat. Ross Taylor and Jimmy Neesham were dropped from the playing eleven and the New Zealanders have not made it to the playing eleven since then, albeit Taylor making one more appearance. Nathan Coulter-Nile looked solid with both bat and the ball but was forced to fly back to Australia due to an injury. South African leggie Imran Tahir joined the squad as his replacement. Delhi registered their second win against Mumbai Indians in the 5th game that they played. But since then, they have not tasted a victory. The Delhi Daredevils lost 8 games on a trot which has left them reeling at the bottommost position on the points table. The Kotla crowd has been supportive and has turned up in large numbers to support the home team despite of the team’s poor run. Skipper Kevin Pietersen has got starts but has failed to get big scores. JP Duminy has been the lone ranger with the bat but could not take his team to a victory on most occasions. Similarly, Imran Tahir has been bowling well and Kedar Jadhav has come up with his cameos but all in losing cause. The bowling unit has been dismal. DD have picked up an average of only 3 wickets a game which is the worst among all the teams this season. Dinesh Karthik and Murali Vijay have also come up good in bits and pieces but showed no consistency.
It has not only been poor performance but also the fact that DD have run out of luck this season. They looked set to win the game against Sunrisers Hyderabad scoring a par score of 150+ but rain gods intervened which turned the tables for Delhi. In the game against KXIP, they played well and KXIP needed 9 runs of the last over. But Parnell messed it up big time. Against Mumbai Indians, they were cruising along chasing the target with Duminy and Tiwary scoring 40s but wickets tumbled in the penultimate Marchant De Lange over and they lost by 15 runs.
Delhi’s journey in 2014 has been a heartbreak saga. The team needs to figure out what went wrong especially when they have Gary Kirsten and Eric Simmons in their core group. A modest Delhi Daredevils owner quoted “It was not a good outing by the team. We are looking forward to the next edition.”
He is an engineering student at Christ University, Bangalore and aspires to become a sagacious writer. Apart from writing, he is obsessed withcricket and computer programming. He writes blogs and other stuff to gain cognizance and expertise at writing.
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