After a disappointing bottom finish in IPL 2013, the Delhi Daredevils team owners moved quickly to sign former Indian national team coach Gary Kirsten as the team’s new head coach in a bid to bounce back and put up a strong show in IPL 2014.
The IPL player retention rules have been complicated by the inclusion of the “right-to-match” option along with the high prices for retained players. Teams will have to choose wisely on whether to try to retain the core of their present players, or attempt to build a fresh unit.
It will be interesting to see what strategy Gary Kirsten opts for in building the Delhi Daredevils team as he tries to replicate the success that he had with the Indian national team.
While it is highly unlikely that the Daredevils team management will decide to retain 5 players from the team that played last year (which is the maximum allowed by the IPL Governing Council), there will be certain players that Kirsten will want to ensure to have in his team and some others whom the team will try to purchase back from the auction.
Players that should be retained by the Delhi Daredevils:
The explosive batsman showed good form in the recently concluded Ashes, where he was the top-scorer in Australia’s whitewash victory. His dazzling stroke-play with a penchant to hit lofted shots and a very effective switch-hit shot makes him a dangerous batsman for any opposition.
A brilliant fielder as well, Warner has been a part of the Delhi Daredevils’ setup since 2009 and Kirsten will look to have the destructive batsmen continue in the team for the coming season.
One of the most flamboyant stroke-players in modern day cricket, Kevin Pietersen has the ability to single-handedly tear apart the best bowling attacks on his day. While his recent form has not been at his usual lofty standards, Pietersen is still very much a player that any side would want to have in their batting line-up.
Pietersen missed IPL 2013 due to an injury and the Delhi team sorely missed his presence in what was a disastrous season for them. Also very popular among the Indian public, Pietersen should be retained by the Delhi team and he can be expected to bring cheer to the team fans once again.
Gary Kirsten will be keen to retain the services of his fellow countryman Morne Morkel, who has got an excellent record with the Delhi Daredevils and also showed good form in the recently concluded test series against India. A key member of the famous and much-dreaded South African pace attack, Morkel has the pace and bounce to trouble the best batsmen.
The Delhi team will want to keep the talented pace bowling all-rounder because of the balance that he brings to the side with his batting and bowling skills. His ability to score quick runs in the slog overs and also contributing 4 overs of bowling every game makes Pathan an asset for any team in the T20 format.
Pathan has been out of action for a while due to injury rehabilitation, but with the 2014 T20 World Cup and the 2015 World Cup coming up, he will be keen to impress selectors with strong performances in the IPL.
Players that Delhi Daredevils may not retain but must try to sign back in the auction:
The promising young batsman is a player for the future. Though he was largely ineffective when he played for the Daredevils in the previous IPLs, Unmukt Chand has managed to cement his place in the Delhi Ranji and North Zone teams with impressive performances in the domestic circuit.
Also, the fact that he hails from Delhi will add to the local flavour in the team, something which the fans will appreciate.