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IPL 2018: Why Delhi Daredevils are serious title contenders

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615   //    04 Apr 2018, 13:16 IST

Coach Ricky Ponting in conversation with Shahbaz Nadeem

With three days to go for the biggest T20 carnival in the world, it is the Delhi Daredevils who seem to be strong title contenders this year. Over the years, the team management has adopted different strategies at the auction table, none of which have really worked well for the team. This year, they look well balanced on paper and could post a serious challenge for the title.

The signing of Ricky Ponting as head coach was a brilliant move by the team management as he is someone who comes with tons of experience at the international level.

The Aussie's philosophy will be different from former coach Rahul Dravid's philosophies and the Delhi franchise will have to adapt to the change as soon as possible. Ponting has an aggressive 'give it your everything' attitude whereas Dravid is more conservative in his ways.

Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant and Prithvi Shaw have played under Dravid for most of their careers and will take some time to get used to Ponting's approach to the game. The former Australian captain will not settle for mediocrity and will demand consistent performances from his players. Ponting could transform Delhi into a force to be reckoned with in IPL 2018.

It was a great move to bring Gautam Gambhir back to Delhi. He led the Kolkata Knight Riders to two IPL titles and will bring a lot of experience to the Delhi franchise. Over the years, the southpaw has been one of the most consistent batsmen in the IPL.

His ability to lead from the front, at the top of the order, will come in handy for the Daredevils. The team has lacked an influential leader in the past and Gambhir will be the change that can take the team to great heights.

After retaining Shreyas Iyer, Chris Morris and Rishabh Pant, the Daredevils think tank was wise at the auction table and spent big bucks on proven match winners. Glenn Maxwell and Colin Munro were the stand out buys and are two players who are devastating when at their best. Munro is the number one ranked T20 batsman in the world and will form a potent opening combination with DD"s captain, Gambhir.

Munro can take on the bowlers right from ball one, while Gambhir can play the anchor role. Maxwell finished with the maximum number of sixes in IPL 2017 and will look to carry on in the same fashion this year. Morris is a powerhouse all-rounder who will have a role to play with both bat and ball in the Daredevils' XI. Iyer and Pant are technically strong batsmen who will provide stability to the middle order.

The team management retained the core of the bowling attack by persisting with the likes of Mohammed Shami and Kagiso Rabada, and bought New Zealand pace spearhead Trent Boult for Rs. 2.20 Crore. The strong pace bowling unit will be complemented by spinners, Amit Mishra, Shahbaz Nadeem and Jayant Yadav, who will look to get breakthroughs in the middle overs.

Delhi spent big on Under-19 World Cup winning captain, Prithvi Shaw. Shaw, who has big things in store for for him, will learn a lot from the likes of Ponting and Gambhir.

It is a new look Delhi Daredevils side that we'll be seeing at IPL 2018; a team that his stronger than ever and could pose a serious challenge for the title.

After making three appearances in the semifinals over the years, the Delhi franchise will be looking to go one step further and win the IPL this year. The captain-coach duo of Gautam Gambhir and Ricky Ponting could take the side to great heights in IPL 2018!

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