Delhi Daredevils finished at the 7th position in the IPL 2015 points table © IANS
Delhi Daredevils finished at the 7th position in the IPL 2015 points table © IANS

Delhi Daredevils once again finished in the bottom half of the table in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015, something that they are fast getting used to. They won five games, and could have finished in the top four had it not been for their age old issue of not finishing games. Nikhil Popat reviews their season and wonders how they can further improve in coming seasons.

Delhi Daredevils have not had many great seasons in the IPL and the eight edition was not much different to the past for them. They started the tournament with a couple of close losses and it looked like they would finally get through to the playoffs, but the old, choking ways of the Delhi Daredevils made an appearance before they started to get together as a team. READ: Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2015: Tale of riches to rags

Delhi had done good work in the auction, buying valuable players such as Angelo Mathews, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Quinton de Kock, etc. They suffered a blow when Mohammad Shami was ruled out of IPL very early.It hampered their bowling as Zaheer Khan too missed the first half of the season due to fitness issues. Coulter-Nile though stepped up for them with the new ball and showed good promise. READ: Steve Smith: I don’t really like to listen to too many people on my batting

At the top, they opened with Shreyas Iyer and Mayank Agarwal for most of the matches, a move which worked wonders for Iyer, who had never opened before. Iyer caught all eyeballs with his audacious and bold batting but he got little support from Mayank who was eventually dropped for Quinton  de Kock. The South African came in and made an impact right away, showing why he should have always been playing from the first game. READ: Delhi Daredevils look safe under JP Duminy’s leadership

JP Duminy held the middle order for Delhi and had yet another impressive season, his captaincy was top notch as well as Delhi did run many teams close but could not deliver the knock-out punch. Imran Tahir and Amit Mishra, the spin twins, were the main reason for their success and just when it looked like Delhi had finally got the right combination, they started experimenting and things went awry.

Issues: Success in T20 stems from stability and that is where Delhi suffered the most. They kept on chopping and changing, and dropped their performing players for weird reasons. Albie Morkel coming in at No. 3 against Chennai Super Kings, in their very first match, almost won them the game but he was dropped the next game for Angelo Mathews who had not shown enough form before to walk into the side. Imran Tahir was the Purple Cap holder when he was dropped after one poor game. Angelo Mathews did not strike form till very late but they persisted with him.

Positives: Shreyas Iyer was the biggest positive for Delhi Daredevils in eight edition of IPL. Delhi got the runs on board thanks to the Iyer who was magnificent for them at the top. He did fail in some games, but thankfully, Delhi persisted with him and it worked for them. Skipper JP Duminy led from the front with the bat and was the second highest scorer for Delhi. His captaincy has improved and going further he would be looking forward to the next season and plan better.

Zaheer Khan was at his best in the last few games for Delhi Daredevils, and he had taken up the job of being the head bowling coach on the field. It showed in the game against Chennai Super Kings (CSK),which they won by six wickets chasing a moderate score.

Player M I R HS Ave SR 50s
Shreyas Iyer 14 14 439 83 33.76 128.36 4
JP Duminy 14 13 414 78* 41.4 131.42 4
Yuvraj Singh 14 13 248 57 19.07 118.09 2
Mayank Agarwal 10 10 213 68 23.66 120.33 2
Kedar Jadhav 14 12 189 63* 23.62 135 1

Flops: Yuvraj Singh and Angelo Mathews were the biggest flops for DD. Bought for a huge amount, Yuvraj Singh failed to live up to his hype, averaging a mere 19.07 in 14 games. He hit a couple of fifties to avoid being  complete waste of money. For someone as experienced as Yuvraj, it wasn’t a pleasing sight watching him struggle to get going. He will hope to do better and prove his worth with the bat, and repay the faith shown in him by the Delhi Daredevils.

Angelo Mathews came off an ordinary ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 and despite playing all the games, he did not quite play to his standards. His bowling too lacked the bite and it did not help Delhi one bit. He scored 144 runs in 10 innings averaging 20.57 with a highest score of just 28. His bowling had even worse figures, averaging 35.14 leaking runs at 8.20 picking up a just seven wickets in 10 games.

Areas to improve for future seasons: Delhi Daredevils will have to look back at their plans and strategies for they left out their best bowler towards the end and it cost them. Imran Tahir was bowling beautifully but he was dropped to get combinations right when he was their best bowler.

Player

M

I

R

W

BBI

Ave

Eco

SR

4WI

Imran Tahir

10

10

314

15

4 for 28

20.93

8.84

14.2

1

Nathan Coulter-Nile

11

11

321

15

4 for 20

21.4

7.55

17

1

Amit Mishra

12

12

310

9

2 for 32

34.44

7.71

26.7

0

JP Duminy

14

9

126

8

4 for 17

15.75

7.41

12.7

1

Zaheer Khan

7

7

156

7

2 for 9

22.28

6.45

20.7

0

Tahir picked up 15 wickets at an average of 20.93 and was still dropped. It was baffling to see their best bowler not being picked. Delhi will have to avoid making such blunders and back their best players rather than trying too many things. They will hope Mohammad Shami is available for future editions for them.

Kedar Jadhav was a bright prospect but he batted too low down the order. Towards the end Delhi did get their combination right and will need to back them to come good and pick the best for the team than picking players on reputation. They can look to get in a few more Indian players who can take up the responsibility to bat in the middle or lower down the order.

Delhi Daredevils have the resources but need to utilise them better. They have always started well but lost steam in crunch games and they will want to do better and ensure they put in an impressive performance in coming editions of the tournament.

(Nikhil Popat is a cricket lover and a PotterHead. He can be followed on Twitter @CricCrazyNIKS)