Delhi eye a better show

Delhi eye a better show

Delhi eye a better show

Barring the first three seasons, Delhi Daredevils’ journey in the Indian Premier League has evinced little excitement. They have been the permanent back-benchers of the league, at least in the last four years, and unlike any other team, have strung a series of lows. Despite a spruced up attack and a young batting side in the 2017 edition, Daredevils continue to be a weak title contender.

Even before the season could kick off, DD lost all-rounder JP Duminy, who pulled out owing to personal reason, and wicket-keeper batsman Quinton de Kock, who was the mainstay of the top order last season. Daredevils, meanwhile, have decided to stick around with 38-year-old seamer Zaheer Khan as the captain of the side.

This season, the Daredevils feature quality bowlers in Kagiso Rabada and Pat Cummins, besides Mohammed Shami, Chris Morris and Amit Mishra. Australia's Cummins, fresh from the experience of bowling in Indian conditions, is capable of generating disconcerting bounce and pace on flat pitches along with Rabada, the exciting South African star. In addition, the presence of all-rounders like Angelo Mathews and Carlos Braithwaite adds depth to their ranks.

DD's batting, lacking in experience, is stacked with some promising stuff in Rishabh Pant, Karun Nair, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson and Sam Billings. They can pulverize the best of attacks.

Squad: Zaheer Khan (C), Pat Cummins, Chris Morris, Sam Billings, Mohammad Shami, Shahbaz Nadeem, Carlos Brathwaite, Karun Nair, Shreyas Iyer, Angelo Mathews, Sanju Samson, Corey Anderson, Rishabh Pant, Kagiso Rabada, Amit Mishra, Jayant Yadav, Chama Milind, SK Ahmed, Ankeet Bawne, Aditya Tare, M Ashwin, Navdeep Saini, Pratyush Singh, Shashank Singh.

Previous record: 2016: Sixth; 2015: Seventh; 2014: Eighth; 2013: Ninth; 2012: Lost in qualifier 2; 2011: Tenth; 2010: Fifth; 2009: Semifinalists; 2008: Fourth.  STAR WATCH
 Rishabh Pant: The young wicketkeeper-batsman has been grabbing attention with his attacking brand of run-making. His style is ideal for the T20 format even though he needs to brush up his skills with the gloves. His profile was enhanced recently when he was appointed captain of the Delhi team for the Vijay Hazare one-day tournament.

Pat Cummins: The 23-year-old Australian gave an impressive account of himself during the just concluded Test series. His pace is the high point of his craft and he gave an impressive demonstration of his abilities on the flat pitch at Ranchi. Injuries have been the bane of his progress though.