Delhi Daredevils IPL 2012 review May 26, 2012

Silverware eludes powerhouses Delhi

Despite being at the top of their game through the league stages, Delhi Dardevils ran out of steam when it mattered the most. They need to reward their consistency with trophies
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Where they finished


Third place, at the end of everything with two deafening defeats in the playoffs to deal with. Yet, after their 2011 nightmare, their single big benefit from this edition would be a return to being one of the IPL's more consistent teams. What they would want now with all this consistency are some trophies. At least their consistency in the league phase has rewarded them with a place in the Champions League T20.

Key player


Despite the opening presence of Virender Sehwag and David Warner at the top, it was Morne Morkel's venom that set Daredevils on its way to the playoffs at the start of the IPL. Height, pace, accuracy, the ability to generate awkwardness from batsmen and a calm persona helped Morkel signal the turnaround in Daredevils' fortunes and saw them sail through the first six weeks. A team of quicks supporting him certainly helped but Morkel led the pack like he was meant to but ask batsmen facing him about the 160 dot balls in the 378 bowled. Umesh Yadav was a good partner and the reasons to keep Morkel out of the XI versus Chennai Super Kings will forever be debated. Team balance, he said. More foreign players in an XI, grumbled others. One way or another, more Morne anyway.

Bargain buy


For all the cursing about a lack of spinners, Daredevils would believe that its uncapped left-arm spinner, Shahbaz Nadeem (bought for Rs 30 lakh), at least gives them a tidy option. He had an ordinary run in his last half of his 12-match IPL, taken to the cleaners by Jesse Ryder and Sourav Ganguly but surely that is a 22-year-old's rite of passage. Of all the slow bowlers tried by Daredevils, it was Nadeem who got more wickets than anyone else and had a better economy rate than Morkel, Yadav and Varun Aaron. A place in the XI heading into the final week of the tournament could have been argued for.

Flop buy


Surely $700,000 is match-winner's money. It's what Venugopal Rao cleaned up at the 2011 auction, so to have played only ten matches out of a season's total of 18 with a return of 122 runs means that some numbers are not acting up. Rao turned up in the middle order, often at No. 3, ahead of Mahela Jayawardene and Ross Taylor on a few occasions, but was unable to return a strike-rate higher than 104. It is the new statistic that batting signings will be judged on in Twenty20 and by that count, Rao needed better numbers than he had this season.

Highlights


Without doubt, David Warner's decimation of the Deccan Chargers' hopes in the team's chase of 187 in Hyderabad. Not because it was a batsman smashing bowlers all around - this was the Chargers minus Dale Steyn, remember - but because Warner brought to bear in splendor, abandon and just crazy hitting, his impact in the shortest form of the game and why his name had travelled far. Just like Warner himself who was playing in only his second IPL 2012 match having stepped off a plane and a Test series in Dominica just a fortnight ago. Often, matches in the IPL go past in a blur; Warner's 109 not out off 54 balls, with seven sixes, was memorable for its aggression and the fact that he won Daredevils the game by nine wickets, with 20 balls to spare.

Lowlight


Naturally the final-week qualifiers. Daredevils won both tosses and botched it twice. The quicks had given Daredevils much fuel all through the IPL but the omission of spinning options in Roelof van der Merwe or Shahbaz Nadeem to start with cost them on the slow-spinning Pune track against Knight Riders. To keep Ross Taylor back behind Venugopal Rao and 19-year-old left-hander Pawan Negi when the run-rate began to climb, had an explanation in theoretical tactics but on the field it just looked plain illogical. Then in the last-chance saloon versus Super Kings, Morkel, the tournament's highest wicket-taker, sat out because of Andre Russell's all-round skills. The result met a logical end: no wonder, the short cut to the final was cut short.

Verdict


All the way to the final week, it looked as if Daredevils had got their mojo back or rather got the formula right. Two semi-finals in the first two editions followed by a narrow miss of the knockout through net run-rate in the third shows that they remain one of the more consistent teams of the IPL. Yet the bottom-placed finish in 2011 could be the blip that was needed to get their shape back. It may look like a love for quick bowlers - there are nine on their roster, including two of India's fastest - or to keep looking for the allrounders perfect for Twenty20 or just the ability to identify batsmen who can do the business. The razzle-dazzle of Virender Sehwag, Kevin Pietersen and Warner was strengthened by the low-on-noise high-on-quality Mahela Jayawardene. It should have surprised no one that they marched through the first six weeks of the IPL with few who could them. This is what they need but all the way to the business end will require a rethink and maybe more trust in their own spinners.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | May 28, 2012, 7:30 GMT

    it was really sehwag's fault sending Rao ahead of taylor, patan, it was almost achived match, he could manage to cantrol the match, and the couch responsible as well, by letting him to make such a foolish decision,

  • POSTED BY on | May 28, 2012, 6:23 GMT

    Totally agree, Captaincy should be corrected .then can be keep hopes on CLT20.

  • POSTED BY garysum00 on | May 27, 2012, 20:57 GMT

    the downfall in the finishing stages was plotted long back, when DD insisted on playing a woefully out of touch Ross Taylor throughout. once it was clear that he was not in good form doug bracewell and andre russel should have been given opportunities. even van der merwe could be tried. all of them are all rounders and can bat as well as ross taylor, while giving you additional bowling options. prob is DD didnot experiment with team composition in league phase but all of a sudden made wholesale changes in the business end. whatever said and done giving 1st over to sunny gupta against CSK can never be justified when both hussey and vijay are excellent players of spin

  • POSTED BY PraveenKKT on | May 27, 2012, 18:38 GMT

    if Morne Morkel was in,CSK would never have scored above 200. And who's that "GUPTA!" & he was harmed by Murali Vijay. If Morkel was there, Mural vijay wouldn't have taken his century becos he's not able to handle fast bowlers well like Morkel.

  • POSTED BY on | May 27, 2012, 10:14 GMT

    1. Win the toss and bowl first on a flat track 2. Keep Morkel out 3. Sunny Gupta - first match - Eliminator 4. Russel for Irfan when you have Agarkar to partly fit the slot and surely would have had better analysis that Gupta and Aaron. 5. Sehwag 1 down 6. Persist with Rao in the middle order 7. Bring himself on and 21 runs in the over Sehwags decisions in the eliminator... now what would have taken to decide wiser?!?!?!

  • POSTED BY g.narsimha on | May 27, 2012, 9:33 GMT

    only one person responsible for this mess -SAHWAAG, what a l ooser , bad team selection RAO is not a natural t-20 player , he should not be in playing 11 for ant match ..

  • POSTED BY Lovetesh on | May 27, 2012, 7:06 GMT

    In the CLT20, DD should make Mahela Jayawardene Captain. Sehwag should play only as batsman. And whatever the pitch is Morne Morkel must play. Hopefully KP will be available for CLT20.

  • POSTED BY on | May 27, 2012, 7:00 GMT

    Keeping M. Morkel and Naddem out of X1 was just unbelivable. I first thought they were injured. Sehwagh should take some tips from Ghabhir and Dhoni on how to get the right composition. I would have surely played Morkel first and then selected other 3.

  • POSTED BY Mr_Anonymous on | May 27, 2012, 6:18 GMT

    I think Sehwag was influenced by what his pace attack did (especially in Dharamsala) and maybe thought they could pull it off on a flat and slightly slower track even without their lead bowler. Giving a player who hasn't played in any IPL match yet the first over in a crucial match was a big risk (even though he was perhaps best suited to understanding the pitch and the conditions) and it failed this time (but Sehwag could have been a hero had it worked). I feel that the fact that DD did not give Bracewell a chance to play left them with 1 less tried and tested option when Irfan got injured. They need to plan their playing 11 better in the league phase so that they have replacements ready who have also played a few matches as they head into the playoffs. The performance of the youngsters was overall quite good and hope to hear more about Nadeem/Negi/Chand in the future. Overall, a good showing though and the fact that they qualified for the CLT20 should be encouraging.

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | May 27, 2012, 4:56 GMT

    I would fire eric simons. They can't get rid of sehwag. Sehwag is delhi. They can't remove captaincy from sehwag. So i woukd remove simons and bring some brilliant tacticians.

  • POSTED BY on | May 28, 2012, 7:30 GMT

    it was really sehwag's fault sending Rao ahead of taylor, patan, it was almost achived match, he could manage to cantrol the match, and the couch responsible as well, by letting him to make such a foolish decision,

  • POSTED BY on | May 28, 2012, 6:23 GMT

    Totally agree, Captaincy should be corrected .then can be keep hopes on CLT20.

  • POSTED BY garysum00 on | May 27, 2012, 20:57 GMT

    the downfall in the finishing stages was plotted long back, when DD insisted on playing a woefully out of touch Ross Taylor throughout. once it was clear that he was not in good form doug bracewell and andre russel should have been given opportunities. even van der merwe could be tried. all of them are all rounders and can bat as well as ross taylor, while giving you additional bowling options. prob is DD didnot experiment with team composition in league phase but all of a sudden made wholesale changes in the business end. whatever said and done giving 1st over to sunny gupta against CSK can never be justified when both hussey and vijay are excellent players of spin

  • POSTED BY PraveenKKT on | May 27, 2012, 18:38 GMT

    if Morne Morkel was in,CSK would never have scored above 200. And who's that "GUPTA!" & he was harmed by Murali Vijay. If Morkel was there, Mural vijay wouldn't have taken his century becos he's not able to handle fast bowlers well like Morkel.

  • POSTED BY on | May 27, 2012, 10:14 GMT

    1. Win the toss and bowl first on a flat track 2. Keep Morkel out 3. Sunny Gupta - first match - Eliminator 4. Russel for Irfan when you have Agarkar to partly fit the slot and surely would have had better analysis that Gupta and Aaron. 5. Sehwag 1 down 6. Persist with Rao in the middle order 7. Bring himself on and 21 runs in the over Sehwags decisions in the eliminator... now what would have taken to decide wiser?!?!?!

  • POSTED BY g.narsimha on | May 27, 2012, 9:33 GMT

    only one person responsible for this mess -SAHWAAG, what a l ooser , bad team selection RAO is not a natural t-20 player , he should not be in playing 11 for ant match ..

  • POSTED BY Lovetesh on | May 27, 2012, 7:06 GMT

    In the CLT20, DD should make Mahela Jayawardene Captain. Sehwag should play only as batsman. And whatever the pitch is Morne Morkel must play. Hopefully KP will be available for CLT20.

  • POSTED BY on | May 27, 2012, 7:00 GMT

    Keeping M. Morkel and Naddem out of X1 was just unbelivable. I first thought they were injured. Sehwagh should take some tips from Ghabhir and Dhoni on how to get the right composition. I would have surely played Morkel first and then selected other 3.

  • POSTED BY Mr_Anonymous on | May 27, 2012, 6:18 GMT

    I think Sehwag was influenced by what his pace attack did (especially in Dharamsala) and maybe thought they could pull it off on a flat and slightly slower track even without their lead bowler. Giving a player who hasn't played in any IPL match yet the first over in a crucial match was a big risk (even though he was perhaps best suited to understanding the pitch and the conditions) and it failed this time (but Sehwag could have been a hero had it worked). I feel that the fact that DD did not give Bracewell a chance to play left them with 1 less tried and tested option when Irfan got injured. They need to plan their playing 11 better in the league phase so that they have replacements ready who have also played a few matches as they head into the playoffs. The performance of the youngsters was overall quite good and hope to hear more about Nadeem/Negi/Chand in the future. Overall, a good showing though and the fact that they qualified for the CLT20 should be encouraging.

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | May 27, 2012, 4:56 GMT

    I would fire eric simons. They can't get rid of sehwag. Sehwag is delhi. They can't remove captaincy from sehwag. So i woukd remove simons and bring some brilliant tacticians.

  • POSTED BY AncientAstronaut on | May 27, 2012, 4:42 GMT

    Delhi Daredevils are the South Africa of the IPL - competitive and eternal favorites, but chokers in crucial games.

  • POSTED BY on | May 27, 2012, 3:04 GMT

    Sehwag is a poor captaincy material for DD.Why did he choose to field against CSK having already failed to chase the small total set by KKR ??..... Mahela should be given the captaincy and Nobody felt Shwag was the captain of DD in this IPL...

  • POSTED BY on | May 26, 2012, 21:40 GMT

    Problem with Delhi team is that they can never be extraordinary- they were already the best team in the IPL and only when it came to the most important game they made a mess of their playing 11. They didn't need to do anything special- just needed to play the way they were playing all tournament- Sehwag batted at No.3 for the first time in IPL, Morne Morkel-their strike bowler was out to have an allrounder Andre Russel who did not play many games this season and who the hell was sunny gupta. What a mess Delhi made of the batting order-tried to do extraordinary but really didn't need to.

  • POSTED BY on | May 26, 2012, 18:26 GMT

    What happened to sehwag ??????? when it matters he was selecting players to learn cricket like Gupta. The moment we see the team slsection everyone came to know that DD is out of IPL

  • POSTED BY joseyesu on | May 26, 2012, 16:13 GMT

    I think SEHWAG has lost his ability in team selection. Leaving out morkel and bringing in Fresher Gupta in SF as if he is like a NARINE/MENDIS/ASHWIN. Continously over depending on Players like IRFAN. and useless Rao in the middle

  • POSTED BY borhans on | May 26, 2012, 14:57 GMT

    Shehwag with his ordinary performance,less than ordinary captaincy did the job for DD .Shehwag lack the captain skill which a player playing test cricket for so long should have

  • POSTED BY borhans on | May 26, 2012, 14:55 GMT

    Shehwag with his ordinary performance,less than ordinary captaincy did the job for DD .Shehwag lack the captain skill which a player playing test cricket for so long should have

  • POSTED BY xylo on | May 26, 2012, 14:49 GMT

    Might want to throw in a line or two about Sehwag's captaincy skills?

  • POSTED BY AnotherCricketFan on | May 26, 2012, 14:32 GMT

    Nice commentary. DD tends to go into a self-doubt and over-thinking mode. In the latter part of the league stage, they started to over-think and started tinkering their line ups and combinations.

    Even in the play-offs - lets not even go on the decisions on Sunny.

    Keep it simple. Play good cricket. With all these timeouts and coaching available it just cannot be a captain's call. Too many cooks ...?

  • POSTED BY Trevor_WI on | May 26, 2012, 14:32 GMT

    Why would a team that includes Mahela have Sehwag captaining ? Anyone ?

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | May 26, 2012, 14:17 GMT

    Without Kevin Pieterson & M. Morkel, DD team looked ordinary. Both Sehwag & Warner are just hit & miss unreliable batsmen.Aaron, Yadev are 2 of the fastest pacers at 145 KPH but lacked length & direction to be effective.Mahela was the only other guy apart from KP who showed a degree of consistency. DD were lucky to finish on top because of KP & Morkel's consistent showing. In the knock out game against CSK, neither was in the XI & DD paid dearly for dropping Morkel - a dumb & crazy move.Sehwag's contibution both as a captain, batsman & fielder was very inconsistent. If he wishes to play T-20, he needs to play more responsibly otherwise he should retire from T-20.The team needs to retain Pathan, Morkel & Yadav in pace & also have KP, Mahela in batting + Sehwag & Warner need to play more responsibly. In addition they need Nadeem & Negi to bowl more effectively. This is the way to go forward to champions league.It is still a formidable side if all guys perform.

  • POSTED BY abiindia on | May 26, 2012, 14:01 GMT

    not to blame on delhi, whoever plays against CSK, it could well be broken wings on skies, because they are driving on it is psychological morale booting by their mind and making themselves relaxed due qualify for the play off and preserve the sufficient energy when needed most. that has created naturally or by their own defeats before the playoff, the transformation has created especially not only by dhoni during the matches, it is gifted by nature some people call it luck. it is the situation that other teams are peaked very earlier it causes damage to them and lasted the energy before required..

  • POSTED BY on | May 26, 2012, 12:57 GMT

    Foolishness on the partf DD thinktank cost them the match against KKR and CSK. It is alright Varun Aron is given chances in the league phase. But his inabiity in knock out phase cost DD dearly. O top of that the only bowler all teams were afraid of, Morne Morkel, was asked to sit out against CSK.

  • POSTED BY on | May 26, 2012, 12:37 GMT

    KP in fine form (high average + high strike rate + consistent) seems to be the reason they did so well in this year IPL. If KP was around, they might have even won the IPL. Ross Taylor coming from injury was a disappointment looking for big hits only on the leg side. Warner was inconsistent. Rusell seems to be a good player as a bowling all-rounder and should have got more matches in place of Taylor. Unmukt Chand seems to be a good batsman and should have got more chances. With Morne Morkel and Umesh Yadav, their pace bowling looked strong. Shahbaz Nadeem should have got more chances.

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  • POSTED BY on | May 26, 2012, 12:37 GMT

    KP in fine form (high average + high strike rate + consistent) seems to be the reason they did so well in this year IPL. If KP was around, they might have even won the IPL. Ross Taylor coming from injury was a disappointment looking for big hits only on the leg side. Warner was inconsistent. Rusell seems to be a good player as a bowling all-rounder and should have got more matches in place of Taylor. Unmukt Chand seems to be a good batsman and should have got more chances. With Morne Morkel and Umesh Yadav, their pace bowling looked strong. Shahbaz Nadeem should have got more chances.

  • POSTED BY on | May 26, 2012, 12:57 GMT

    Foolishness on the partf DD thinktank cost them the match against KKR and CSK. It is alright Varun Aron is given chances in the league phase. But his inabiity in knock out phase cost DD dearly. O top of that the only bowler all teams were afraid of, Morne Morkel, was asked to sit out against CSK.

  • POSTED BY abiindia on | May 26, 2012, 14:01 GMT

    not to blame on delhi, whoever plays against CSK, it could well be broken wings on skies, because they are driving on it is psychological morale booting by their mind and making themselves relaxed due qualify for the play off and preserve the sufficient energy when needed most. that has created naturally or by their own defeats before the playoff, the transformation has created especially not only by dhoni during the matches, it is gifted by nature some people call it luck. it is the situation that other teams are peaked very earlier it causes damage to them and lasted the energy before required..

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | May 26, 2012, 14:17 GMT

    Without Kevin Pieterson & M. Morkel, DD team looked ordinary. Both Sehwag & Warner are just hit & miss unreliable batsmen.Aaron, Yadev are 2 of the fastest pacers at 145 KPH but lacked length & direction to be effective.Mahela was the only other guy apart from KP who showed a degree of consistency. DD were lucky to finish on top because of KP & Morkel's consistent showing. In the knock out game against CSK, neither was in the XI & DD paid dearly for dropping Morkel - a dumb & crazy move.Sehwag's contibution both as a captain, batsman & fielder was very inconsistent. If he wishes to play T-20, he needs to play more responsibly otherwise he should retire from T-20.The team needs to retain Pathan, Morkel & Yadav in pace & also have KP, Mahela in batting + Sehwag & Warner need to play more responsibly. In addition they need Nadeem & Negi to bowl more effectively. This is the way to go forward to champions league.It is still a formidable side if all guys perform.

  • POSTED BY Trevor_WI on | May 26, 2012, 14:32 GMT

    Why would a team that includes Mahela have Sehwag captaining ? Anyone ?

  • POSTED BY AnotherCricketFan on | May 26, 2012, 14:32 GMT

    Nice commentary. DD tends to go into a self-doubt and over-thinking mode. In the latter part of the league stage, they started to over-think and started tinkering their line ups and combinations.

    Even in the play-offs - lets not even go on the decisions on Sunny.

    Keep it simple. Play good cricket. With all these timeouts and coaching available it just cannot be a captain's call. Too many cooks ...?

  • POSTED BY xylo on | May 26, 2012, 14:49 GMT

    Might want to throw in a line or two about Sehwag's captaincy skills?

  • POSTED BY borhans on | May 26, 2012, 14:55 GMT

    Shehwag with his ordinary performance,less than ordinary captaincy did the job for DD .Shehwag lack the captain skill which a player playing test cricket for so long should have

  • POSTED BY borhans on | May 26, 2012, 14:57 GMT

    Shehwag with his ordinary performance,less than ordinary captaincy did the job for DD .Shehwag lack the captain skill which a player playing test cricket for so long should have

  • POSTED BY joseyesu on | May 26, 2012, 16:13 GMT

    I think SEHWAG has lost his ability in team selection. Leaving out morkel and bringing in Fresher Gupta in SF as if he is like a NARINE/MENDIS/ASHWIN. Continously over depending on Players like IRFAN. and useless Rao in the middle