Delhi Daredevils have it in them to go a long distance in IPL-5

Finishing at the bottom of the points table in IPL-4, Delhi Daredevils went for an immediate overhaul I IPL-5 and TA Sekar, the man who played a pivotal role in building the side in the first couple of years of its existence, was brought back into the Daredevils management fold and appointed team mentor for the forthcoming season, writes The Times Of India. Coach Greg Shipperd also checked out and former Team India bowling coach and Shipperd’s deputy Eric Simons was give the lead coaching role, it adds.

“Former England skipper Kevin Pietersen was brought on board from Royal Challengers Bangalore to add to the destructive batting firepower boasting Virender Sehwag and David Warner at the top. This manic lineup of explosive hitters was tempered by the addition of the calming influence of Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene, who will be expected to provide much-needed tactical support on the field to Sehwag as well. Another new entry to watch out for is the exciting West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell who is a fearful striker of the ball, capable of matching the likes of Kieron Pollard on his day,” writes the national daily adding that addition of Doug Bracewell, one of the few genuine swing bowlers in international cricket at the moment, will add punch to the pace attack.

“The side looks well balanced in the pace bowling department with Umesh Yadav leading the attack accompanied by Varun Aaron. Irfan Pathan and Ajit Agarkar will add experience to this lineup along with Morkel.  The one area of concern could be the spin bowling, especially if the track at their home ground in Ferozeshah Kotla is sluggish in nature.”

According to a report in The Hindu, Y Venugopala Rao, who missed most part of the last domestic season due to a long bout of dengue fever, said he was fully fit to take up the role of a senior batsman in the first few games where Daredevils would miss some of its star overseas players. “It is a good opportunity to test the bench strength. It is a long tournament with a lot of matches. So we have to see off the first two matches till the big players arrive.”

The Andhra player was happy with new coach Eric Simmons' approach. “Even as a bowling coach he had a lot of positive vibes. “He supports and gives confidence to each player. When the individuals work well, the team wins,” said Rao.

Meanwhile The Hindu writes that in the past four seasons, the Indian Premier League (IPL) has been credited with several positives. “One of the biggest plus points of this annual event is the recognition it provides to those who emerge as unexpected match-winners and instant heroes. It is a different matter that given the short memories of the spectators and franchisees alike, such instant “stardom” also ends instantly if not backed by consistency. Swapnil Asnodkar, T. Suman, Manpreet Gony, Siddharth Trivedi and Kamran Khan, to name a few, all had their moments in the IPL, but could never really build on the visibility and recognition gained from their brief exploits in the shortest version of the game,” adds the paper.