Daredevils look up to Virender Sehwag and Glenn McGrath

April 11th, 2008 - 6:29 pm ICT by admin  

(IPL team profile)
By Avishek Roy
New Delhi, April 11 (IANS) If the Indian Premier League is all about flamboyance and showbiz, Delhi Daredevils have in their skipper Virender Sehwag everything wrapped up in one explosive package. The marauding opener apart, the squad pales in comparison with the star value of some of the other franchises. The GMR-owned team might not boast of top stars but they have roped in some bright youngsters from domestic circuit and that could make a huge difference in the Twenty20 version as it demands high levels of energy and athleticism.

Among the foreign recruits, Daredevils’ biggest catch is South African A B de Villiers and New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori. AB is going through the form of his life and would be the player to watch in the tournament. Vettori is one of the world’s best spinner at present and he will play a big role in the competition as he is handy bat too.

As Vettori rightly put it, any of the eight teams with quality Indian players will have an advantage. Since there is a cap on the number of international players in the team, the Indian support cast will play a major role. The Indians will be the real strength of the side.

The Delhi team has another biggie In Glenn McGrath whom they have got it rather cheaply, at $350,000. McGrath might have retired but his value is more than that. He quit international cricket last year after the World Cup, but not before playing a major role in Australia’s win and bagging the man-of-the-series award. McGrath will surely have few tricks up his sleeve.

Sri Lankan Tillekratne Dilshan may not be a big name yet, but he is certainly an asset for any team.

On the bowling front, McGrath will have Mohammad Asif, Farveez Mahroof, young Pradeep Sangwan and Yo Mahesh to assist. Asif’s fitness remains an issue though the Pakistani would be desperate to prove himself. Both Asif and McGrath have got the nagging line and length and would be difficult to cart easily.

“We have got a very strong bowling line-up. We have got six pacers and they are all different. Our attack has got the variety and we have also made sure that there is proper-back up,” Daredevils Cricket Operations manager T A Sekar said.

Among Indian players Gautam Gambhir is in great form. He has shown a penchant for the Twenty20 format and came back to the national reckoning with his powerful show in the Twenty20 World Cup.

“We have got what we wanted in the auction. We were looking for balance and players who can perform in the T20 format.” Sekar said.

Biggest strength will be Delhi players Rajat Bhatia, Shikhar Dhawan, Mithun Manhas and Mayank Tehlan, who are riding high on Delhi’s roaring success this domestic season. They know the IPL is the platform to show their skills. With so many young and fresh legs in the side, Daredevils are, perhaps, the best fielding outfit among the eight franchises. Sehwag and de Villiers, are coming on the back of massive performances in Test cricket. Gambhir is also on a high and the trio will provide a formidable start to batting.

Injuries to Asif and Maharoof will be a worry. McGrath will have his work cut out if the duo doesn’t stay fit. Vettori is the lone specialist spinner in the team and he will leave the tournament midway for the tour of England. The bowling department will be badly hit.

Foreign players to watch out for:
Brett Geeves: The Australian is a medium-pacer and handy lower-order batsman who plays for Tasmania in the Pura Cup. Geeves enjoyed a good season in Australian domestic circuit and got into Daredevils at the recommendation of coach Greg Shipperd and GMR Holdings though it wise to purchase him with the spare amount of USD 50,000.

Mohammad Asif: Laid low by injuries and controversies, Asif would be looking to prove that he is fit and his international career is far from over. If he gets into the groove Asif’s will trouble the batsmen with his disciplined line and length.

Shoaib Malik: Pakistani skipper is lying low for a long time without any performance of note but he must be waiting to unleash himself in IPL. He is a big hitter of the ball and his off-spinners are equally effective.

Domestic players:
Pradeep Sangwan: The young left-arm pacer has been a star performer in the Undet-19 World Cup that India won. He is piped as a future India player and will be sharing the bowl with the likes of McGrath and Asif.

Rajat Bhatia: A major success in the domestic season Bhatia’s sterling batting display played a big role in Delhi winning the Ranji Trophy after a gap of 16 years. Bhatia is knocking on the doors of Indian team and will be raring to prove his worth in the star-studded tournament.

Dinesh Kaarthick: The wicket-keeper batsman has been out of the Team India reckoning for sometime now. He made an impact in the very first T20 international India played against South Africa. Kaarthick won that thrilling match for India and made his way into the national team. A great improviser and an athletic fielder, Kaarthick will look to utilise this opportunity and score some good knocks.

Coach: Greg Shipperd
Australian Shipperd is the coach of Victoria Bushrangers and is known for his tactical acumen.

Team Owner: GMR Holdings (Ownership Cost $ 84 million) Total Money spent $5,572,500

Squad: Virender Sehwag ($833,750), Gautam Gambhir ($725,000), Manoj Tiwary — ($675,000) Mohammed Asif (Pakistan, $650,000), Daniel Vettori (New Zealand, $625,000) Dinesh Karthik (India, $525,000), Shoaib Malik (Pakistan, $500,000)
Glenn Mcgrath (Australia, $350,000) AB de Villers South Africa ($300,000)
Tillakaratane Dilshan (Sri Lanka $250,000) Farveez Mahroof (Sri Lanka $225,000), Brett Geeves (Australiam, $50,ooo) Pradeep Sangwan (India, $50,000), Rajat Bhatia, Shikhar Dhawan, Yo Mahesh, Mithun Manhas, Mayank Tehlan (India).

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