IPL 2017 May 15, 2017

Daredevils done in by inexperience and inconsistency

Lack of experience, inconsistent batting and an ever-expanding list of injuries scuttled Delhi Daredevils' bid for the playoffs

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Hogg: Inexperienced Daredevils a little out of their depth

Where they finished

Sixth for the second season in a row, with six wins and eight losses.

The good

Things looked dandy for Delhi Daredevils when Pat Cummins, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Zaheer Khan and Mohammed Shami ran in and hit the pitch hard with the new ball. The Daredevils seamers were the most effective in the Powerplay, taking 18 wickets at an average of 29 - the best among all teams in the league stage.

Rishabh Pant, who hammered 49 sixes in 12 innings in the 2016-17 Ranji Trophy, went on a six-hitting spree in the IPL as well. He hit 24 sixes in 14 innings, and only Glenn Maxwell had struck more. Nine out of Pant's 24 sixes came in a successful chase of 209 against Gujarat Lions.

The bad

Pant features here as well, which encapsulates Daredevils' hit-or-miss campaign. He made three ducks - the joint most by a player this season - and three single-digit scores; five such scores contributed to defeats.

Daredevils were particularly poor with the bat between overs six and 15. They played out 286 dots in the middle overs - the most by any team - while also losing 39 wickets, again the joint most by any team.

Bizarre tactics, too, cost Daredevils. For starters, they picked only one frontline batsman in Ankit Bawne in the auction in February. Injuries and the lack of back-up batsmen meant Daredevils had to persist with out-of-form batsmen or make do with allrounders .

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Their best striker, Morris, could have added more depth to the batting had Daredevils used him better. He had the second-best strike rate (168.09) among Daredevils' players, just behind Pant (170.45), but faced only 94 balls. Six other batsmen in the Daredevils line-up faced more balls than Morris. There was, perhaps, a case for the management to bump Morris up the order, but he batted in the top five only once in eight innings.

Given that Zaheer Khan had not played a single competitive match between the last IPL and this one, his fitness was always going to be a major worry. Zaheer missed three matches because of injury, and with Angelo Mathews also just returning from injury and searching for form, Daredevils did not have an experienced hand to show them the way. Instead, Karun Nair, who made only one fifty-plus score across formats since his triple-hundred in the Chennai Test against England last year, stood-in as captain.

The ugly

Daredevils were the only side to be bowled out under 70 on two occasions this year. Right after the sensational chase against Gujarat Lions, they careened to 66 all out against Mumbai Indians - their lowest total in the IPL.

The missing ingredient

Experience. Daredevils' top four, for all their talent, was the least experienced in the league. This, perhaps, explained why they could not manipulate the middle overs and failed to close out tight games.

Out of their control

Before the start of the season, Zaheer said Daredevils were sitting pretty despite the unavailability of Quinton de Kock (injured) and JP Duminy (personal reasons) for the entire season. But, the absence of the South African pair hit them hard as the league progressed. Zaheer and Corey Anderson also suffered injuries towards the end of the league stage, which forced the management to shake things up further.

Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • see on May 17, 2017, 9:36 GMT

    It was a good campaign by DD, even if it was ultimately unsuccessful. There are too many players in the team who have flashes of greatness but aren't quite ready for primetime. There is not one dependable player. And that's very strange for a team mentored by Dravid.

  • Brishni on May 16, 2017, 22:08 GMT

    Hopefully Sanju, Rishabh, Shreyas & Karun realise that batting at the top level is not about hitting 20 in one over and then getting out cheaply.

    The Last Man Standing is the Winner. If you need an example look at Dhoni or Kohli. They can belt 20 in an over. But know how to rotate strike and pace an innings and not thriw it away.

    Hopefully this experience teaches them a great deal.

  • Sathyanarayan on May 16, 2017, 12:38 GMT

    DD lost the tournament even from their first match - against RCB. They embraced defeat from a winning position. In the 19th over when Amit Mishra tried to hit every ball for a four or six without connecting, instead of taking a single and give the strike to a red hot Pant. The very first ball of the 20th over, Pant was bowled and they lost the match narrowly. Strategically Delhi Daredevils lost the plot. Their idea of giving opportunities to Indian batsman has to be appreciated. But that did not translate into wins, since they did not have the right opening pair. IMHO, they should have opened Samson with Pant, instead of Karun Nair, if at all he plays, should have been playing down the order either 5 or 6 down. All rounders like Chris Morris should have come before Nair. In all fairness, Chris Morris was not at all handled properly. Sometimes after looking at the batting line-up, I have always wondered whether DD really wanted to win or not.

  • Danish on May 16, 2017, 9:03 GMT

    DD batting will be unstoppable in 5 years time. But not sure if Dravid is using the right platform (IPL) to be working towards the future.

  • ziaul on May 16, 2017, 7:53 GMT

    The bowling of DD was very strong and the batting was too inconsistent and rather weaker than other IPL teams. This mainly happened due to the coaching staff didnot replace De Cock and JP Juminy. They tried to cover that up with some funny logic but at the end Rahul Dravid and Co is to take the blame. Tamim Iqbal or Sabbir Rahman could have been great option in batting line up.

  • Nish on May 16, 2017, 7:03 GMT

    You expect the young talented Indian batsmen in the DD team to be a bit inconsistent but hopefully they have their feet firmly planted on the ground & know there is a still a lot of work to do if they want to become better players as well as regulars in the Indian team one day soon. They badly missed de Kock & perhaps need another experienced batsman to make their batting a lot more consistent but they certainly have a very good squad & just need a bit of luck with player injuries in doing much better next year.

  • brickszz on May 16, 2017, 4:02 GMT

    DD sold try getting sum experience in middle order for next big auction, Retain QDK,pant, Morris,samson/iyer. and get proper Indian batsmen like jadhav Raina or DK fr middle order. Re-buy shami, cummins and Nadeem. And get explosive overseas batsman like finch, roy or mcculum. And inject more young talent like kishen or thump.

  • Pradeep Naga on May 15, 2017, 18:20 GMT

    No mention of their bowlers!!!....despite having strongest bowling line up, they couldnt perform consistently like SRH,KKR bowlers. MI,RPS bowlers did much better than DD this season.... Mishra was inefficient allthroughout the season .... Nadeem,Jayant did well in limited opportunities but didnt get enough opportunities.....Zak bowled well in begining of tournament and his form dipped later

  • Jackwin on May 15, 2017, 16:19 GMT

    if they stick with this team and chuck out Zaheer..in another 3 years they'd be on a winning spree..Ideal combo : QDK Samson Pant Iyer Nair Morris *Vijay Shankar* Cummins Rabada Shami Nadeem/M Ashwin...and roll out green seaming tracks in Delhi...visitors will be shaking in their boots

  • Sam on May 15, 2017, 15:14 GMT

    DD is extremely bad at setting strategies. Billings is inconsistent. DD has a good bowling line up & there was no need to pick Hilfenhaus in place of Duminy. Hilfy didn't even get a game. DD should have gone for Mohammad Shahzad. At the top of the order, he could have given DD a flying start. A like for like replacement for De Kock. Shahzad gave panic to SOU bowlers in WT20 2016. DD could have gone for Michael Klinger to bat through the innings. He's piled up runs in Big Bash every season but is very underrated & never got his due. Samuels was a bad buy. Nadeem was dropped unnecessarily. Mishra was backed but Jayant who played well wasn't. DD didn't send Corey up the order to try something different. In a match, Matthews was sent ahead of Morris at 15th over when Morris was required & DD lost. Dravid has a history of doing such things with both RR & DD such as making unnecessary changes & bad tactics, wrong battling order, continuous shuffling. No Dravid for strategy for DD & RR.

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