Delhi Daredevils have not progressed beyond the group stage in the last three editions of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The team management has decided to hand over the captaincy to former India bowling spearhead Zaheer Khan, who will drive his players to come up with a better performance in IPL 2016.
This is Zaheer's first full captaincy stint for an IPL team, and he will be eager to make it memorable. With Zaheer having announced his retirement from international cricket, this IPL season will be his last as well.
Zaheer has a good squad at his disposal, with some quality players such as Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Chris Morris, Carlos Brathwaite, Shreyas Iyer and Sanju Samson. Zaheer wants all the players on the field to think as a captain in order to achieve success in IPL 2016.
"You look at the speed of the format and the way the game goes on. We need to have eleven captains on the field, if everyone thinks like that then as a team we are going to progress and do well in the upcoming season [sic]," the Times of India quoted Zaheer as saying.
Zaheer, with his experience of international cricket and having played in the IPL for a number of years, will play an integral role as the bowling spearhead. The T20 format is believed to be a youngsters' game, but Zaheer does not believe in such things. Despite his age (37), he is happy with the T20 format, where he can share his experience and also guide youngsters.
"At times we get caught up in terms of numbers, be it statistics on the field or age, so we all need to move on from that. There are plenty of guys who are playing this format and have been around for a long time. If you are able to keep up with the demand of the format then why not?," Zaheer said.
"I am happy with this form of cricket where you are able to kind of give it back, spending enough time with youngsters, guiding them right throughout the tournament. This is something which I enjoy and my thought process is very clear and it's not changed."
Delhi Daredevils on paper look a good team, but their players need to stand up and be counted in the ninth edition of the IPL, which starts Saturday. After having failed in the last three season, it is time for Delhi Daredevils to deliver, and win their first IPL title, which could be a perfect farewell gift to Zaheer.
Delhi Daredevils will face Kolkata Knight Riders Sunday in their first game of the season.