Delhi Daredevils - To cross the final hurdle
by Jinu Sabastian

Player:AB de Villiers, TM Dilshan, G Gambhir, KD Karthik, DP Nannes, A Nehra, WD Parnell, V Sehwag, DA Warner
Event:Indian Premier League 2009/10

DateLine: 10th March 2010


The Daredevils from Delhi is in danger of acquiring the choker tag after their display in the first two editions. For two editions in a row the side finished at the top of the table courtesy to some stirring performance but then lost in the semis to the eventual champions.


The side led by Sehwag then possessed a very strong batting line-up and a bowling unit that would envy the opposition. But crossing the final hurdle has always being their issue.


In the first season Delhi swept away almost all their opposition displaying a streak of ruthlessness. The batting line-up opened with the most dangerous opening duo, Sehwag-Gambhir combo which was followed by Dilshan, de Villiers, Manoj Tiwary and keeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik. The pace bowling department was spearheaded by the ageless McGrath and his clone Asif while the spin department belonged to Vettori and Mishra. The side finished at the top of the table before they lost to Rajasthan Royals in the semis.


When the carnival was moved to the African continent, Delhi was still tagged the favourites and the experts voiced unanimously that they were the side to beat. During the off-season they had signed up David Warner, Dirk Nannes both of whom were unknown quantities and got Nehra from Mumbai Indians.


The Daredevils from Delhi once again got off to a flying start with de Villiers crashing a stupendous century against Chennai Superkings. The Delhi team-management surprised one and all by making McGrath warm the bench and playing Nannes instead. It proved to be a masterstroke as the left-arm paceman rattled the opposition batsmen with his raw speed. Ashish Nehra proved to be a handful as he re-discovered the swing that had made him a dangerous customer in his early days and complemented well by the spinners the Delhi side made it to the top of the tree.


But their joyride was cut short as they met Deccan Chargers in the semi-finals who were in full flow. Gilchrist looked like a man possessed as he blew apart the Delhi bowling attack to smithereens to knock the side out of the tournament.


With the third season about to begin all attention will be on the Delhi outfit. For starters Sehwag has relinquished his captaincy and naturally it was handed to Gambhir. With Warner, de Villiers and Dilshan in red hot form the side once again have the potential to make it to the last four. The Delhi team-management had bid aggressively fro Wayne Parnell and with his inclusion in the side the side possesses an all left arm pace attack.


With a change in the leadership at the helm the Delhi outfit will be looking to get past the semi-final hurdle.