Daredevils, a pale shadow of their past

Updated: 19 April 2011 20:49 IST

It is not the kind of start Delhi Daredevils would have liked to their fourth season in the Indian Premier League. Semifinalists in the first two years, the Delhi team is no longer the most balanced side in the competition.

New Delhi:

It is not the kind of start Delhi Daredevils would have liked to their fourth season in the Indian Premier League. Semifinalists in the first two years, the Delhi team is no longer the most balanced side in the competition and appears a bit flaky with the new set of players from a fresh auction struggling to jell as a unit.

The most-feared team in the last three years now has only skipper Virender Sehwag and his fellow-opener Australian David Warner from among the old guard. The batting today depends heavily on the two openers as was evident from the four games they have played, winning only one.

Daredevils, in the first three years, had the likes of AB de Villiers, Gautam Gambhir, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Dinesh Karthik in their batting and quality bowlers in Daniel Vettori and Dirk Nannes.

The team's think tank this time surprisingly did not go in for big names and instead settled for lesser known Aaron Finch, James Hopes and Colin Ingram, besides discarded India internationals Irfan Pathan and Venugopal Rao.

The inexperienced bowling attack has conceded more runs than they could defend. The lanky South African quickie Morne Morkel has little support from the likes of Ashok Dinda, Pathan, Yogesh Nagar and Hopes.

With ten newcomers in the side, Sehwag was forced to curb his attacking instincts in the opening match against Mumbai Indians and he even played out a maiden over to Lasith Malinga for the first tine in 10 years.

"I think after 10 years I played a maiden today. We have 10 new faces in the in Delhi squad and it will take a little time for us to come together," Sehwag had said.

After two losses, the team opened its account against the Pune Warriors in Navi Mumbai Sunday and Sehwag and Warner successfully led the chase to get 189 runs. The team spoke of carrying on the with the momentum, but on Tuesday, they stumbled again to be beaten by Deccan Chargers by 16 runs.

"We are still getting there. Hopefully we will get better," said an optimistic Sehwag after the match.

Asked about the team's over-dependence on Warner and him, Sehwag said : "The opening partnership is important. If you look at other teams when they get a good start, they usually win the game. Hopefully Warner and I can give a good start as well."

Topics : Zimbabwe Sri Lanka Delhi Daredevils Tillakaratne Dilshan Virender Sehwag David Warner Cricket Gautam Gambhir Daniel Vettori Indian Premier League 2011
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