Coming into this edition, DD looked a rejuvenated side. Having hired one of the best coaches in the world, DD was expected to come up with a strong performance following a wooden spoon in the previous edition. But halfway into the tournament, they have come up with another cropper of a performance, with only two victories from 6 matches, and one of them coming against the bottom-languishing Mumbai Indians.
Yes, Gary is a very capable coach. With a somewhat modest looking bowling unit, he took India to its pinnacle during his tenure. But this time around, he has looked quite clueless in managing Delhi Daredevils. But it is not the problem with the coach or something. The problem lies with their team composition, which looks awkwardly unbalanced.
First, coming into the batting composition, which looks very strong on the paper. Anyday, you would like to have Ross Taylor, KP, Duminy and South Indian batting mainstays like Dinesh Karthick and Murali Vijay. But alas, they have come up with some weirdly inconsistent performances. While they managed to chase a reasonable target set by KKR pretty easily, they were humiliated in the very next match by CSK, thanks to some poor batting. The on-paper strong team has come up to a cropper, with respect to their reputation they have in the league. While Dinesh Karthick has looked a pale shadow of himself, Murali Vijay is not the same batsman as he was for CSK. Ross Taylor and Quinten De Kock have been on and off the team, whereas Duminy has been the only strong point.
The biggest surprise has been the poor form of KP, who was expected to fire after a dramatic end to his international career. While he missed the first three matches due to a sore finger, he has been a pale shadow of himself since his return. He is the key as far as DD’s chances of qualifying for the playoffs are concerned.
But the real problem lies within the bowling attack. Lack of any big names is indeed hurting DD. Yes, in T20, never go by reputation. But lack of experienced campaigners has put DD in a spot of bother. While the fast bowling unit looks better, it is the spin department which is a cause of concern, especially considering the Indian conditions. Shahbaz Nadeem has been impressive, but lack of a reputed spinner is indeed reflecting on their performances.
While Delhi are tied 7th, they still have a good chance of making it to the playoffs. But they need to sort out their playing combination. Considering Gary’s experience, he will indeed come up with something to help DD bounce back.