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Delhi Daredevils: It's not about consistency, it's about intent in this IPL


KP IPL

The intent to win has been missing from Kevin Pietersen’s game in this IPL

“Inconsistency has hurt Daredevils – Kirsten”

Delhi Daredevils are currently going through the phase that every cricket team hopes doesn’t come to them. Not just 1 but every player seems to be out of form and lacking the intent to win. It’s not the team but the staff, that’s failing to provide the team with what it wants – ‘a magic touch’ perhaps’, and it seems even that wouldn’t be good enough for the current Daredevils side.

If there’s one thing about Kirsten that I’ve always admired, it’d have to be his factual knowledge of the game. He doesn’t label a team ‘good’ by the looks of it on the paper, but by how the team performs ultimately on the field. Coaching ‘the big 4′ would be a dream task but coaching a side ‘in shackles’, is the real challenge for any coach. While as the coach of the Indian team his tenor was fabulous, one cannot say the exact similar words for his short coaching stint so far with the Daredevils.

To be fair with Kirsten though, a coach can only try and improve his team, it’s naturally the team that has to deliver the goods and sadly, Daredevils has failed to do so. It’s not about how badly they’re performing, it’s about the intent which they lack.

A team plays for its fans and the Delhi fans have been left disappointed and stranded and that’s not been the case only this season but in the last season as well – which was by far Daredevil’s worst performance in IPL but this season hasn’t been ‘a fairy tale’ either. The fans that turn up to Kotla in huge number, for every match, irrespective of their team’s position must be commended for their loyalty and if anything, Daredevils have got to play good cricket for them.

Last season Daredevils appointed Viv Richards into its coaching ranks and even a legend like Richards failed to shape up this team and help it provide its fans with ‘any consolation’ because Richards was appointed half-way through the season and by then, the train had already left the station.

The enthusiastic turnout of the Daredevil’s fans deserves better

I’ve always been an admirer of Pietersen for his aggressive intent and his ‘never say never’ attitude. Even during his captaincy stint with the England team, Pietersen struggled to maintain a consistent route with the team, be it the ‘open’ clashes with the coach or the disagreements with the team-mates, Pietersen didn’t had a good time as the captain of the English team. But, his intent even then during the tough times was clear ‘he intended to win’ but that intent is for some reason ‘missing’ in him.

Daredevils have got to make some tough decisions and if that means to tell Pietersen to step down as captain and sit on the bench for a few matches and bring back Taylor – they’d have to do that. Last season itself, a legend like Ponting had to take the brave decision of sitting out and stepping down as captain of Mumbai Indians because he was simply not able to perform as per his standards and that happens with every cricketer, more so when the team altogether is failing to perform.

Having quality coaches never makes a team good enough and neither do ‘big bucks’.  Yes, I’m talking about Karthik. If you see Karthik as the ’12 crore’ bid, you’re going nowhere, as a team and as it’s management both. Karthik cannot be expected to be the ‘hero’ of the team, he simply cannot be the ‘only’ performer just because he was paid huge bucks.

Until the last match, Yuvraj was under the hammer for not performing even though he was sold for the highest bid of the season i.e. 14cr but post his last knock where he broke the shackles and answered his critics – he himself would be under so much less pressure and this would allow him to perform better in future matches. Karthik is on the lookout for such an innings himself because with his bidding aside for a second, Karthik would’ve higher expectations from himself, at least more so when he’s coming to bat higher up the order and is playing the ‘anchor role’.

The bowling department hasn’t been impressive either. Mohammed Shami has failed to provide Daredevils with the early breakthroughs – the role that he has been successfully playing for the Indian team. Besides Shami – the likes of Parnell, Nadeem, Unadkat – starting off with Nadeem, someone who was so successful for Daredevils in the earlier seasons and has failed miserably to grab wickets this season.

Parnell has been on and off the team, he can simply not be blamed if he’s not picking up the wickets because frustratingly enough, he isn’t been given enough chances and as for Unadkat – he’s been the most impressive of the lot but surely not good enough, hence why he was dropped from the team after he went for runs in the previous match – talk about demoralizing a youngster.

Delhi Daredevil’s team management has to answer to it’s fans, the fans who turn up with so much anticipation and hope, in every match.

Going into the auctions with a full purse – Daredevils team management just cannot blame it’s team because they’re the ones who had the full opportunity of selecting a ‘winning side’.

As a fan, this season gets more and more frustrating and with the intent just not there, the remaining of the season can only be passed by in hope of a ‘magic’ and ‘turns in table’ literally.

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