The eleventh edition of India’s Twenty20 league, Indian Premier League (IPL) is slated to take place from April 4 to May 31, 2018, and fans can’t wait for the lineup to be announced (which is scheduled to happen in February). In the eleventh season, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals are set to make a comeback after being suspended for two years following the 2013 IPL betting scandal.
According to the reports, IPL governing council is planning to allow franchises to retain up to three players (two Indians and one overseas) ahead of the auction. The final decision in this regard is yet to be made.
But, before the auction, I, as a Delhiite, want to choose my dream team because I want Delhi team to lift the IPL trophy (which they have struggled to get their hands on in past 10 years).
Delhi Daredevils, which is owned by the GMR Group, failed to mark its presence in the cash-rich T20 tournament. Delhi only made it past the league stage in only three out of the 10 editions since the tournament started in 2008.
Here’s their history:
2008: Delhi Daredevils finished fourth in the league stage and lost to Rajasthan Royals in semi-finals. Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag was the captain.
2009: Delhi Daredevils finished first in the league stage of IPL, but lost the semi-finals to Deccan Chargers
2010: Delhi Daredevils finished 5th in the league stage with 7 wins and as many losses.
2011: Delhi Daredevils finished tenth in the league stage after they lost 9 out of 14 games. One ended in no result.
2012: Virender Sehwag stepped down from captaincy and Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardane was appointed as the new captain. The team won 11 of the 16 matches played in the league stage of the IPL and topped the point table. However, it lost both its two matches in the playoffs and finished at the third place.
2013: In this season, DD again failed to perform up to their expectations and finished last in the league stage.
2014: Ahead of the IPL 2014 auction, team owners announced that they will not retain any players from their current squad for season 7 due to poor show in 2013. Kevin Pietersen was handed over the captaincy. But, there was not much change in the stats and Delhi finished eighth.
2015: Again Delhi owners changed the captain, this time Jean-Paul Duminy was asked to lead the side. Delhi Daredevils finished 7th in the league stage.
2016: They changed the captain once again. Veteran Indian fast bowler Zaheer Khan was the one who led the side which failed to make it to the playoffs and finished sixth.
2017: Delhi lost their main players, De Kock and Duminy before the tournament. They ended up at the 6th position again with 6 wins and 8 losses.
With so many ups and down, as an ardent fan and follower of Delhi team, I picked up few players who can change the fortunes of DD.
Here’s The List
Virat Kohli (IND) – Captain
Born and raised in Delhi, Virat Kohli represented the national capital at various levels before making his first-class debut in 2006. Born on November 5, 1988, in Delhi, Virat Kohli started his training at West Delhi Cricket Academy in 1998. Kohli first represented Delhi in the Under-15 team in October 2002. In late 2004, he was selected in the Delhi Under-17 team for the 2003–04 Vijay Merchant Trophy. Kohli made his first-class debut for Delhi against Tamil Nadu in November 2006 at the age of 18. Having the local connection, he is the best person to lead Delhi Daredevils in IPL.
Shikhar Dhawan (IND), Batsman
After Virender Sehwag & Gautam Gambhir left this franchise, Delhi struggled to find regular openers. Shikhar Dhawan is the best choice for that slot as he in fine form and he is doing really well for the Indian cricket team as an opener.
AB de Villiers (F), Batsman
He can bat, field and can keep wickets too. Perfect player for Delhi in the middle order.
Colin Munro (F), Batsman
He can be the best partner for Shikhar Dhawan to open the innings. He is explosive and can clear any ground easily. He has scored two T20I centuries in 2017. Importantly, can provide Delhi with a solid start.
Jason Roy (F), Batsman
Another batsman to provide depth in Delhi’s batting line-up
Corey Anderson (F), All-rounder
A hard hitter, wicket-taker Corey would be a gem player for Delhi
Mitchel Santner (F), All-rounder
Being a slow left-arm orthodox spinner, he could prove lethal on Indian pitches. He can bat as well lower down the order. A good pick for playing XI
Dinesh Karthik (IND)- Wicket-keeper Batsman
This Wicketkeeper-batsman could be the key player in the middle-order. He had played for Delhi Daredevils in earlier two seasons in 2008 & 2014. He can score quick runs and among the top 10 run scorers of the 2013 IPL tournament.
Mohammad Nabi (F) – All-rounder
Another bowling all-rounder, Nabi could be the trump card for Delhi Daredevils. In his T20 career so far, Nabi has scored over 4,000 runs in 200 odd matches. He has also picked up over 200 wickets!
Quinton-de-Kock (F) – Batsman
Opening wicket-keeper batsman from South Africa, Quinton has been a part of the Delhi Daredevils team since 2014 and should remain with DD. A reliable batsman in the line-up is a must for every squad.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (IND) – Bowler
India’s greatest swing bowler of the present time, Bhuvneshwar Kumar is a must pick. His death bowling in a crunch situation can turn the game around.
Rishabh Pant(IND) – Batsman, Irfan Pathan (IND) – All-rounder, Krunal Pandya (IND) – All-rounder, Mohammed Siraj (IND) – Bowler, Mohit Sharma(IND) Bowler
Due to limitations that a side can only pick 4 foreigners in playing XI, above players like Rishabh Pant, Krunal Pandya, Irfan Pathan, Mohammed Siraj and Mohit Sharma are the best pick for T20 cricket from Indian lot.
Dwayne Bravo (F) – All-rounder
Known for blitzes with the bat, intelligence with the ball, sensational athleticism on the field, Bravo is another must pick!
Head Coach – Zaheer Khan
Bowling Coach – Ashish Nehra
I hope in the 2018 edition, Delhi Daredevils lift the trophy and give us a reason to celebrate. Tell us who all will be in your dream squad?