IPL 2019: What RCB, DD and KXIP need to win their first IPL title
It is that time of the year again. It’s time for the IPL auctions. The IPL has turned out to be the biggest T20 league in the world since its inception in 2008. Nearly every team has won the coveted IPL trophy except for three teams.
Hence, analyzing what these teams have done in the past could reveal what they should look to do in the future if they are to inch closer to their first IPL win. By analyzing areas where they need to improve on, we can determine the type of players they should target heading into this year’s auction. We would also love to hear what you (the readers) think, so please feel free to voice your own opinions in the comments section below.
Delhi Daredevils have been the most unsuccessful team in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL). They have finished at the bottom of the points table 5 times while they have made the playoffs only 3 times. In fact, the last time they qualified for the playoffs was in 2012. It’s safe to say that they have had a horrid time, both on the field and at the auctions.
Last year, DD was to be led by Gautam Gambhir who was responsible for turning KKR’s fortune around, but Gambhir’s poor form resulted in him resigning from captaincy midway through the tournament. Instead, he made a selfless decision of appointing Shreyas Iyer as his successor. This worked since DD started winning a few matches with Iyer at the helm. This also means that a few smart decisions at the auction this year should result in a much better season.
But what do Delhi need to do at the auction?
Let’s look at what has let them down in previous seasons. They struggle to get off to good starts, and even if they do, they lose their way in the middle order. They have also struggled to defend totals. Hence, they are lacking a solid opening pair, a good middle order batsman and strong Indian bowlers.
When it comes to the opening conundrum, they need another opener who can complement the aggressive nature of Prithvi Shaw. While they have obtained veteran opener, Shikhar Dhawan, he isn’t as consistent as they (DD) would like him to be. They should also be on the lookout for a solid backup to Dhawan in case he misfires with the bat.
Delhi Daredevils should either target Hazratullah zazai or Mohammad Shahzad at the auctions. Both these players were at their best at the Afghanistan Premier League topping the run-scoring charts. The Delhi conditions would be perfect for these two, and their aggressive batting styles could make for an entertaining opening partnership with Shaw.
DD are also short of a really good middle order batsman. They need someone who can bat with Rishabh Pant. Maxwell’s release means that the number 5 spot is up for grabs. But who is the ideal choice?
At the moment, the best option could be Delhi batsman - Milind Kumar. He is off to a dream start in the ongoing Ranji season amassing an aggregate of 679 runs including back to back double hundreds. He was part of the DD lineup in 2014, but he didn’t get a chance to showcase his skills. His current form could carry into the IPL which should take care of Delhi’s middle order woes.
But scoring huge totals won’t be enough if they don’t have the bowlers to defend those totals. They have a few good overseas bowlers like Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada and Trent Boult, but they lack a quality Indian bowling unit. Jaydev Unadkat and Varun Aaron could fill in the blanks this year. Unadkat was picked up at last year’s auction for a shocking amount of money but failed to perform well. He only picked up 11 wickets at an average of 44.18. However, he recently picked up a 7 wicket haul against Chhattisgarh in the Ranji season.
On the other hand, Varun Aaron failed to get picked up at last year’s auction, but he has rejuvenated himself this year. Aaron looks in solid form and has picked up two 5-wicket hauls in his last two Ranji matches. This form could translate into a successful IPL season, and Delhi would be lucky to capitalize on it.