Under-fire Gambhir steps down as Delhi Daredevils captain

Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir on Wednesday stepped down as the captain of Delhi Daredevils following the team’s poor beginning in the Indian Premier League. He will be replaced by 23-year-old Shreyas Iyer.

Daredevils are currently at the bottom of the points table. They have lost five out of their six matches, and face the challenging task of winning seven out of their remaining eight matches to qualify for the play-offs. Gambhir, however, believed the team has the potential to turn things around.

"As the leader of the ship, I take complete responsibility for where we are in the points table. I thought I hadn't done enough. I felt this was the right time because we still have a chance. (It was) absolutely my decision. No pressure from the franchise," Gambhir, two-time IPL winning captain with Kolkata Knight Riders, said.

"I’ve always set high standards for myself as a player. I was sitting alone and thinking, I couldn't handle the pressure. I was not good enough. The bells started ringing after the last game (against Kings XI Punjab), which we should have won.”

Gambhir, along with coach Ricky Ponting, was brought in to change the fortunes of Daredevils, who have been the league’s biggest under-achievers in the last decade. Gambhir, who returned to Delhi after spending seven successful years with KKR, however, found his own form fading. He has made only 85 in five innings, with only a half-century in his first game.

“Coming back to Delhi was an emotional decision. May be I was too desperate to turn things around and sometimes it can backfire,” he said.

Ponting praised Gambhir for his decision and backed Iyer as the captain. "Having been in the same situation many years ago, (I know it is) tough decision to make, to put their hand up and say his performance has not been good enough. I would like to congratulate him for having put the team ahead of himself.

"We can still turn it around. Six out of our eight games are at home. We have the team to do well. The gap between our best cricket and worst cricket has been a bit too much.”

The franchise, though, insisted Gambhir would be available for selection."He is passionate about making DD win. He will obviously be around and will mentor Shreyas into captaincy," said Daredevils CEO Hemant Dua.

Meanwhile, new captain Iyer said, "It is a great opportunity to prove myself and take the team to the highest level possible."

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Under-fire Gambhir steps down as Delhi Daredevils captain

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