By TA Sekar
One of the amazing things about the Delhi Daredevils squad is how it works together as a team. There is remarkable camaraderie among the players and everyone else around them. There is enormous trust in one another as the players keep backing one another to give off their best each time they step out to play a game in the DLF Indian Premier League (IPL).
I am not prone to citing statistics, but it is a good indication that in our 11 victories, we have had as many as eight different cricketers taking the Man of the Match (MoM) awards. Virender Sehwag with three such awards tops the list while Umesh Yadav has come into his own by claiming the prize in our last two victories. It is heartening that on five occasions, our bowlers have been given the award.
Let me cite a few examples of how the side has held its nerves under pressure, not losing faith in one another’s abilities. These are obviously not the only instances of the players backing one another’s abilities but they are fair illustrations of the team work and bonhomie that prevails in the unit.
I would also point out to the manner in which the team fought back after losing four wickets, including those of Sehwag, Mahela Jayawardene and Ross Taylor, in the game against the Deccan Chargers at the Ferozshah Kotla is a fine example of the depth the team has. Yogesh Nagar would have grown as a cricketer, thanks to his partnership with Kevin Pietersen.
Similarly, I am proud of the patience the bowlers showed and defended a smallish total against Rajasthan Royals at the Ferozshah Kotla. Of course, Morne Morkel and Yadav bowled superb 19th and 20th overs, but to drive Rajasthan Royals to that stage also called for a lot of hard work by the bowlers and fielders.
You just have to see the enthusiasm and delight with which all players converge on someone who has taken a brilliant catch or effected a run out dismissal to see the energy that is bristling in the squad. There is an obvious delight that all of them share as they celebrate one another’s successes and take pride in one another.
We have a number of match-winners in the side but, above all, we have a bunch of committed cricketers, irrespective of their experience who focus on doing the job collectively. It is the single-minded pursuit of the common goal that has fuelled the team’s rise to the top of the table at the end of its 16 games in the league phase.
(TA Sekar is a former India fast bowler. He was a critical part of the MRF Pace Academy as one if the finest coaches. He also served a term as National selector. His return to the Delhi Daredevils this season as the Team Mentor has been one of the most significant steps in the team’s journey to the top. He was with the team when it made it to the semi-finals in the first two editions of the IPL. On his return to the Delhi Daredevils, he has already worked hard to making the team more balanced and formidable)