Delhi Daredevils (DD) might have featured in all the nine editions of the IPL but they are yet to reach the finals of a single edition. They will hope for a better performance in IPL 2017 and their players have to live up to the occasion to take them all the way.
However, even before a single ball has been bowled in IPL 2017, the Daredevils have already received a major blow. Two key South African players – JP Duminy and Quinton de Kock – are set to miss the competition.
With Duminy and De Kock missing, there is a serious need for some of the experienced players to deliver in the 10th edition of the IPL, which starts from Wednesday.
How did last season go?
Last year, DD did get off to a great start with three wins in their first four matches, but they couldn't continue with the same pace in the middle stages and fell short of the playoffs.
It was their inconsistency, which hurt them bad despite some players like De Kock shining with the bat.
Who are the new players? Interesting buys during IPL 2017 Player Auction
This year, the Daredevils were one of the busiest teams in the auction, signing as many as nine players. So far, their intent to win IPL 2017 is clear.
DD spent big money on two world-class fast bowlers — Kagiso Rabada (Rs 5 crore) and Pat Cummins (Rs 4.5 crore), which could prove to be a good buy for IPL 2017. Along with Chris Morris and Mohammed Shami, DD could be one of the feared bowling team in the competition. Angelo Mathews and Corey Anderson are their new all-rounders, who could both play an important role, especially with Duminy out of the competition.
M Ashwin, Aditya Tare, Ankeet Bawane, Navdeep Saina and Shashank Singh were the other players DD bought in the auction.
What about overseas players from last season?
As mentioned earlier, Duminy and De Kock are going to be sorely missed by DD this season as they are match-winners. Besides this, their experience would have come in handy.
However, they should now look into Sam Billings for an inspired performance with the bat and also behind the wicket. Carlos Brathwaite, after a poor performance last season, has to score runs and take wickets for DD this season, and Morris will be eager to contribute with both the bat and ball.
Key Indian players
The Indian players always play an important role for any team in the competition, and DD will depend on players like Karun Nair for runs. He has all the ammunition in the bag, but Nair should make sure that he does not allow his talent to go waste this season. In-form Shreyas Iyer could also hold the key for DD in IPL 2017.
After a good domestic season, all eyes will also be on the highly talked about Rishabh Pant, who is known for his attacking ability with the bat. Sanju Samson will need to contribute more.
The spin duo of Amit Mishra and Jayant Yadav has enough experience to trouble any team in IPL 2017. With Mohammed Shami having been troubled with injuries in the past, it remains to be seen how effective he can be in the initial matches.
What does the entire squad look like?
Lack world-class batsmen, will bank on youth, but bowling looks mighty strong
Indians: Mohammad Shami, Shabaz Nadeem, Jayant Yadav, Amit Mishra, Shreyas Iyer, Zaheer Khan, Sanju Samson, Karun Nair, Rishabh Pant, CV Milind, Syed Khaleel Ahmed, Pratyush Singh. M Ashwin, Aditya Tare, Ankeet Bawane, Navdeep Saini and Shashank Singh.
Overseas: Sam Billings, Chris Morris, Carlos Brathwaite, Kagiso Rabada, Pat Cummins, Angelo Mathews, Corey Anderson.
When is their opening match?
Delhi Daredevils will face RCB in Bengaluru on Saturday, April 8.
What to expect
If the Indian batsmen in DD squad deliver, they could have a good season as they already have some powerful all-rounders and bowlers.
They should strive for consistency, and just look to reach the Playoffs. If things go well in the group stages, DD could well surprise one and all, at least reach the final. The team has to gel as a unit for a positive result.