IPL 2018: Why Delhi Daredevils Benching Gautam Gambhir Is A Dirty Move

Is this the reason why Delhi Daredevils have never been able to even enter the final of a single IPL tournament in a decade, let alone win one

The man who played match-winning knocks for India T20 World Cup 2007 and World Cup 2011. The man who won two Indian Premier League (IPL) titles for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). Gautam Gambhir urged KKR to not retain him in IPL 2018 auctions as he wanted to fulfill his dream of guiding his home team Delhi Daredevils (DD) to their maiden title win.

Getting picked by DD as their captain was a choice made by Gambhir, but not circumstantial. Despite looking solid on paper after IPL 2018 auctions, DD failed to make a mark in the 11th season as they could only manage to win one match out of six.

The pressure was mounting on Gambhir as a captain as DD were back to losing ways under his leadership. Then came the shocking announcement that Gambhir will be stepping down from the captaincy and a young 23-year-old Shreyas Iyer will be leading the side.

Though Gambhir said that he was the one who took the decision and there was no pressure from the franchise, it seemed a little fishy. The ideas were given a voice when he was dropped from the side in the next match and replaced by an out-of-form Vijay Shankar.

It is true that Gambhir was going through a rough patch. The 36-year-old has scored just 85 runs from 5 innings at an average of 17. But dropping him for Shankar who had scored just 18 runs from 3 innings did not give much weight to their decision.

Captains have been out-of-form this IPL. Teams on the bottom half and their captains have been inconsistent but it did not lead to their stepping down from the captaincy. Had this been the case, Virat Kohli should have stepped down as Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) captain in 2017, Rohit Sharma should have stepped down as Mumbai Indians (MI) captain after dismal show of defending champions in this tournament.

A team does not lose only because of their captain’s form. You can’t just have a magic wand which can get a team to the top of the table, the team which has been not able to qualify to the final of the tournament in a decade.

ALSO READ: IPL 2018: Iyer Drops Gambhir From Playing XI, Twitterati Say ‘Gautam Gambhir Is A Legend & He Will Remain One Forever’

Gambhir was not even padded up during DD’s practice session. Converting an out-of-form champion player into team’s mentor and that too midway is not the way a champion team is made.

ALSO READ: IPL 2018 DD vs KKR: ‘Shreyas Iyer’s Captaincy Can’t Create Difference,’ Sanjay Manjrekar Backs Gambhir

It is not even possible for him to get roped in by another team in IPL mid-season transfers according to the rule. It is disheartening to see a player of his stature warming the benches and  looking at the team from afar, a team he captained few days back, a team he dreamt of winning IPL for.