Delhi Daredevils have had a mixed time of it till date in the IPL. In the opening couple of seasons – 2008 and 2009 – they were really good and went till the semifinals. However 2010 and 2011 were not that memorable as they got stuck in the group stages. 2012 was the best season for the northern Indian franchise as it made it to the play-offs with a superb display in the group stages and then was the only Indian team to make it to the semifinals of the Champions League T20 in that year. 2013 was a season to forget as it won very few games and finished in the bottom half of the group stage leader-board.
The franchise has appointed Gary Kirsten as a coach for the upcoming season in an effort to turn around things. This is a good appointment considering the success he has had internationally with India and South Africa and together with Eric Simon as the bowling coach they will have the brains behind India’s World Cup 2011 triumph. Now let us take a look at what could happen with their players at the upcoming IPL auction:
Mahela Jayawardene: The classy Sri Lankan may not have delivered what was expected last season in terms of results but he is a good presence on any given day given his supreme batting and experience. However, he needs to be relieved of captaincy.
Manpreet Juneja: The young batsman has been in good form of late for India ‘A’ and is also a prolific scorer in domestic cricket. He should be there in 2014 as well.
Gulam Bodi: He was selected as a hard hitting opening batsman, the role he performs well with his domestic franchise, Lions. Unfortunately he did not receive many opportunities to prove his worth so it is a little hard to see him there in 2014 as well.
Johan Botha: The South African allrounder is a good batsman in the lower middle order, a dependable fielder and above all a very good offspinner. He should be there in the team in 2014 too.
Unmukt Chand: He is a player for future – both for Daredevils as well as India and has leadership credentials and capability. He should be in the team for 2014 and as the captain.
Bharat Chipli: Has been a decent performer for Karnataka in domestic cricket but has never really sealed a place in any IPL franchise till date. Still, he could be there as a reserve batsman in 2014.
Chidambaram Gautam: Has a very good record in domestic cricket as a wicketkeeper-batsman and has also played for representative sides like the Emerging Players team. He should be there in the team as an understudy to Naman Ojha.
Kedar Jadhav: He is a very good batsman at the first class level and DD should look at him as a middle order mainstay in the days ahead. He should be an automatic selection in 2014.
Siddharth Kaul: He has been a prolific wicket taker at the domestic level in the 2012-13 season and also played for both India A and the victorious Under 19 team in 2008 under Virat Kohli. He should be there in 2014.
Jeevan Mendis: The Sri Lankan allrounder has been successful for his national team and also played for Sidney Sixers in the Big Bash League but somehow did not get a look-in in IPL 2013. Given his quality as a player Delhi should have him in 2014 as well.
Morne Morkel: One of the finest quick bowlers going around, the younger Morkel had been instrumental behind the team’s success in 2012 and performed creditably in 2013 as well. He would be an automatic selection.
Shahbaz Nadeem: The only spinner in the team this Jharkhand cricketer is decent with the bat as well and really good in the field. One feels that he would be an important part of the plans in 2014.
Yogesh Nagar: This hard hitting middle order batsman has been a fixture in the Delhi franchise for some time now and contributes in the field too – expect him to be there in 2014 as well.
Ashish Nehra: The former team India regular still has what it takes to make it big in domestic tournaments like the IPL and he will be eager to put up a good show and get back in the reckoning for the 2015 World Cup.
Naman Ojha: The hard hitting wicketkeeper batsman has been a trier for the Delhi Daredevils without delivering much of note. However, he should be in the team for 2014 given the lack of alternatives.
Irfan Pathan: Arguably the best seam bowling allrounder in India, Delhi would love to have him in the team for 2014 as well. In fact he has been, more often than not, the decisive factor for them.
Ben Rohrer: He was consistent for the Daredevils throughout last season and could be awarded for the same with a spot in the squad in 2014.
Andre Russell: In spite of being a promising allrounder and a proven T20 player he has not delivered the goods in the limited opportunities that have come his way. However, he is a quality player and in all likelihood will be there in 2014 as well.
Virender Sehwag: As the icon player of this team he will be looking to shoulder more responsibility in 2014. May be, he could even become captain again like he was in 2012.
Roelof van der Merwe: This combative South African allrounder never really got a prolonged chance to show his wares and so it will be a good idea to have him in the team yet again in 2014 to show his true mettle.
Venugopal Rao: He has been an anchor in the Delhi team in 2012 and has also remained an honest trier. He could be there in the squad during the next season as well.
David Warner: The explosive Aussie will be eager to pair up once again with Virender Sehwag in 2014 and get the team off to good starts as they have done so often. His selection should be beyond doubt.
Umesh Yadav: The fiery fast bowler did not do so well in 2013 and would be looking to make amends with his incisive bowling at the start and in the death. He, too, should be selected for the 2014 campaign.
Varun Aaron: The one man who is as quick as Umesh Yadav in Indian cricket, this Jharkhand speedster is making a comeback from India but has always been a decent performer. He should be retained as well.
Kevin Pietersen: His absence last season was one of the many reasons behind DD’s poor performance. So it can be expected that he will be chomping at the bits to get back to the team and perform well again as he did in 2012.
Jesse Ryder: Ryder is an exceptional talent that has almost fallen away owing to off-field issues. If he can get that sorted out he will be a valuable asset in 2014. However, it is hard to see him as a central part of the plans.