Delhi v Chennai, 2nd qualifier, IPL 2012, Chennai

Had to drop Morne to get an allrounder - Simons

ESPNcricinfo staff

May 26, 2012

Comments: 26 | Text size: A | A

Eric Simons, the Delhi Daredevils coach, has defended the decision to leave out Morne Morkel for their knockout clash against Chennai Super Kings, saying it was necessitated to maintain the balance of playing six batsmen, four bowlers and an allrounder. Daredevils were forced to replace their injured allrounder Irfan Pathan, but instead of swapping him for an Indian bowler, they brought in the West Indies allrounder Andre Russell. That meant one of the four foreigners had to make way, hence Morkel was benched.

The decision was puzzling, considering Morkel has been their best bowler and held the Purple Cap for the most wickets (25) in the tournament. With another slot available, Daredevils picked the little-known Tamil Nadu offspinner Sunny Gupta over the left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem, who had impressed in the tournament earlier. The move backfired as Gupta leaked 47 off three overs as Super Kings blazed 222 to set up their 86-run win.

"Irfan was pivotal to our team. When you lose Irfan you have to find the right balance," Simons said. "We spend hours talking about these things - do you bring in Andre Russell, do you play just six batters? It's dangerous to sit in a situation and completely judge on hindsight.

"He (Russell) gave 30 in four overs, scored 16, could have had a catch taken. He made a good contribution. The nature of the IPL is trying to find the right balance. The direct replacement for Irfan was Russell but unfortunately that meant that Morne missed out."

Morkel said the plan was to beef up their spin attack. "Taking the pace off the ball was the key here, so they went with spinners," Morkel told "Umesh [Yadav] and Varun [Aaron] bowled well. But unfortunately, we didn't win."

Simons admitted that playing a debutant, Gupta, in such a crucial match was a risk, but the decision was based on Super Kings' batting composition.

"Sunny was a risk. They (Super Kings) are a well-balanced side with four left-handers and four right-handers and we had to play someone who takes the ball away (from the left-handers)," Simons said. "We've been very successful chasing. Had we restricted them to 180 we would have got it."

Simons gave credit to Super Kings, saying the better-balanced side won. "They sneaked into the playoffs by probably their own admission. They're so well balanced. They started to come together from the playoffs and that's the sign of champions. M Vijay (who scored 113) played an incredible innings."

Daredevils held the pole position in the points table for most of the tournament but stumbled in the playoffs, losing to Kolkata Knight Riders and now Super Kings. Simons said there were plenty of positives, particularly in the bowling and praised two uncapped Indian spinners, Pawan Negi and Nadeem.

"Negi did nicely, Nadeem did well. In that aspect we have moved well. I'm actually quite happy with the way Umesh has bowled. Morne as moved on as a Twenty20 bowler."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by AhoBil on (May 26, 2012, 14:46 GMT)

Simmons is disingenuous when he says everyone has the benefit of hindsight.....99 out of 100 said before the first ball was bowled that the Morkel drop and choosing to bowl in a pressure game were disasters.... they just played out... and when you do these things, bowling Sonny Gupta would also more likely not work....also batting is largely instinctive while captaincy is a little more cranial....why is why a Sehwag is more likely to get it wrong than right... maybe Pieterson made Sehwag look a good captain.

Posted by TRAM on (May 26, 2012, 14:44 GMT)

Morne Morkel took 0 wkts for 31 runs against CSK just 2 weeks back. Why all these hype? Its not that bad decision to drop him out against the same opponents at the same venue. Instead of 222 csk probably would have scored 200. Still the same result.

Posted by green_jelly on (May 26, 2012, 14:11 GMT)

Such a bad decision by DD. If they had kept Morne, they would've lost by 40 runs instead of 86 runs. That would have really made them look better.

Posted by LightningWizard on (May 26, 2012, 13:53 GMT)

Why didn't they replace like for like? YOGESH NAGAR would have moulded reasonably well into Irfan Pathan's role. Sure, he's not as good as him - but it would have eliminated the need to drop the purple cap holder - Morne Morkel.

Posted by   on (May 26, 2012, 11:19 GMT)

@Jonesy2 Not as ordinary as Pattinson or cummins.

Posted by   on (May 26, 2012, 10:49 GMT)

With so many cricket experts in the world, who needs coaches and captains. I'm sure most of you must have played First Class or International Cricket to have such a sound knowledge of the game, unlike myself who just enjoy watching cricket. I hope the DD owners are taking notes from this wise council. KKR FTW

Posted by dariuscorny on (May 26, 2012, 10:46 GMT)

friends we cannot bash Aaron as one has to understand a bowler can have 1-2 off days as these are t20 matches.Aaron is a youngster he needs support and encouragement remember Stuart Broad was also taken for 6 sixes in an over,he was supported and encouraged and look how good he came up.Aaron played few matches for India and in all those matches his peformances were awesome.and im sure if handled properly with encouragement Aaron and Yadav would become a lethal pace bowling combination for India

Posted by dmqi on (May 26, 2012, 10:32 GMT)

Fire the captain and the coach for good, they do not deserve those positions. For the 222 high scores talkers without Morkel, it could have been 122 with Morkal because Vijay could have been out for 20 runs. Try Vijay against Morkel and verify.Also check how many runs he scores on Sunday.

Posted by   on (May 26, 2012, 10:25 GMT)

Ah, the benefit of 20/20 hindsight! In crunch situations it is more often that experience that delivers. In a do or die situation that DD found themselves in against a CSK who had reinvented themselves in the k.o. stage it was imperative that they play their best bowler and work around any changes unfortunately forced upon them by the injury to Irfan Pathan. Replacing Ross Taylor who was not performing well and was very predictable with his cw corner heaves with Andre Russel wd have avoided the need to replace Morkel. Bringing in a debutante spinner (even if he was Chennai boy) appeared a tad daft too. Added to that the plan to start with Mahela instead of Viru did not come off in the sense that while Mahela did his part well Warner did not last and Viru failed to back up for the failure. DD completely failed in strategy as well as execution while CSK got everything right making for the huge margin of defeat.

Posted by   on (May 26, 2012, 10:18 GMT)

jonesy2: "morkels pretty average" to say that about the IPL's leading wicket taker says a lot about your thinking...."pretty average in thinking"

Posted by   on (May 26, 2012, 9:23 GMT)

This was Captain COOL versus Captain CRUDE. Viru lost IPL in the first play-off when he gave lame reason for selecting only one spinner on slow and turning track "Yadav and Aron playing well, so cannot sit them out". And killed any chances left during batting by not sending Taylor (one of the best batsman and also in-form) to maintain left and right combination. As Kunal nailed out common sense is key (mandatory for captaincy if not for batting). Viru is one of the best batsman and worst captain around. Something DD has to work on.

Posted by   on (May 26, 2012, 9:14 GMT)

Sehwag captains the way he bats. Without using the brain. Who else will fall for an upper cut, when you are short of a great landmark by just ONE run; that too after failing to connect trying the same shot against two consecutive balls, trying the same shot. He will NEVER captain India is a wrong statement. He SHOULD NEVER be allowed to captain India! He should be used at No 6, with clear mandate hit some quick runs and rattle the opposition. Period.

Posted by   on (May 26, 2012, 9:06 GMT)

No point in analyzing this mistake too much - as though it was a last ball defeat. Delhi was so soundly thrashed that nothing could have changed the result. Previous match in Chennai, Delhi played Morkel and still were demolished by Dhoni's men and the "great" bowler was taken to the clearners. So, you guys get a life. Morkel or no Morkel, nothing can stop CSK from achieving its destiny.

Posted by   on (May 26, 2012, 8:43 GMT)

Sehwag will never become captain of India .....

Posted by   on (May 26, 2012, 8:02 GMT)

I think Kunal Talgeri nailed the issue. Delhi Daredevils operated without common sense and it was there for everyone to see. Sehwag looked cluttered and it showed in him coming one drop as well. Morne playing could have made a difference since there was some movement upfront and what DD needed was a couple of wickets upfront. Also it made little sense to chase in such a key match. No Morne, Chasing, No Sehwag opening ( inspite of susceptability to Hilfenhaus) - all of them point to confusion and too much analysis leading to paralysis- No common sense...Hope KKR do not do the same. If KKR stick to basics they could win, else Chennai will romp thru

Posted by akasarag on (May 26, 2012, 7:54 GMT)

There were too many tactical errors by the team management. Morkel was their only hope because they needed to restrict CSK by taking wickets.If they had lost even one early wicket they could have been restricted to less than 200 and DD would have had a better chance. DD has no other strike bowler(maybe Umesh). The dropping of Morkel appears to have had a significant effect on the psyche of the rest of the players as they fielded terribly and exhibited poor body language. I do not know what Sehwag was thinking when he threw the ball to debutant Sunny to open the bowling in a pressure packed game. It was all downhill from there. If I were part of DD managment I would have retained Morkel and dropped Taylor as his game is one dimensional.If they need to strengthen their batting I would have chosen an Indian batsman from the reserves instead of Sunny.They would have had 5 regular bowlers (Russel, Negi, Umesh, Varun and MORKEL) and Sehwag as the sixth. The team management needs to be fired

Posted by   on (May 26, 2012, 7:54 GMT)

Definitely wouldn't describe Morkel as average, but opinion aside, he has been undeniably good this IPL and shouldn't have been dropped. Taylor, whilst showing glimpses of his ability has been in poor form, worse than Jayawardene, and probably should have been in one to make way for Russel. Problems with balance maybe, but Delhi definitely shot themselves in the foot with their odd management.

Posted by krnataraj on (May 26, 2012, 7:31 GMT)

@jonesy2 if you say mornie morkel is average and the over-rated english bolwers are better just wait when the proteas land in your backyard later this year. DD thinktank tanked out at the crucial juncture. mornie would have cramped the csk players for space and probably match would have been more close.

Posted by DalesGuy on (May 26, 2012, 7:24 GMT)

@jonsey2, shall we wait and watch when SA come to Eng? I think you haven't looked at the first day score at Trentbridge!

Posted by veerakannadiga on (May 26, 2012, 7:18 GMT)

Umesh Yadav bowled very well. Varun Aaron is over hyped. He should go back to domestic cricket. Bowling fast is not the only virtue, if that was the case, Shaun Tait should have been the world's best bowler by now.Vinay Kumar with 19 wickets was much better. Even if Vinay went for runs, at least he got some wickets, the same cannot be said of Asron. Sorry state of affairs of Indian Bowling. No wonder we lose Test matches abroad. Other than Yadav, there is no other strike bowler, Zaheer is not the force he used to be, Vinay/Praveen no pace, Munaf Patel the lesser said the better,Ashwin bowls well only for CSK, Bajji's forgotten to bowl, Ojha deprived of chances. God Save Us, AMEN.

Posted by marmao on (May 26, 2012, 7:15 GMT)

Morne or not it would have been the same result. BUt conveniently everything revolves around Morne's exclusion. If Sunny had 2 wickets like the other guy Kulkarni from MI then it would have been a master stroke, then the script would have been differenrt with Badri consolidating and then hell breaking loose with Mahi/ Albie/ Dwayne... Just give it up for the well balanced big match players CSK....

Posted by jonesy2 on (May 26, 2012, 6:29 GMT)

morkels pretty average anyway. one of the most overrated bowlers in the world behind englands ordinary bowlers

Posted by Kunal-Talgeri on (May 26, 2012, 6:28 GMT)

Captains, coaches and 'management' forget that beyond all the strategies, video-footage and analyses, cricket has infinite room for common sense.

Posted by   on (May 26, 2012, 6:28 GMT)

Delhi should fire the person behind these tactical glitches as it costed them the tournament. First, holding back Taylor in the 1st qualifier and now dropping Morkel and not opening with Sehwag. Aaron bowled well? Morkel surely talking nonsense here as Aaron bowled the worst spell ever in any IPL.

Posted by Baundele on (May 26, 2012, 6:26 GMT)

For a 20 overs match, you do not need more than 5/6 batsmen on a batting pitch. But you need good bowlers to contain the opposition. Ross Taylor had zero contribution in this IPL, Mahela was also completely out of form. You do not need to play both of them in order to drop the best bowler in the IPL. Russel's inclusion was a positive thing; but it should have been at the negligible expense of Mahela or Ross.

Posted by   on (May 26, 2012, 6:18 GMT)


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