Pravin Amre, the Delhi Daredevils’ assistant coach has come out stating that his team acknowledged the longevity of an IPL season very early and were prepared with backups for injuries like the one to Kagiso Rabada. He also praised and showed confidence that Liam Plunkett, the England all-rounder who is been roped in as Rabada's replacement, would do well for the side.
“In IPL, you have to be prepared for that, So many unexpected things happen here. Rabada obviously was our first choice and we definitely will miss him. But as management, we always have got backups. Chris (Morris) is there, (Trent) Boult is there. Plunkett is coming in. He is also an allrounder. I think that will give the side balance.In this long tournament, to win the championship, you have to play around 17 matches. There will be some injuries, there will be key players missing out but still, you can achieve what you want.”
Delhi is scheduled to play their first five games at away from Feroz Shah Kotla but it is not something Amre believes DD has to worry too much about, “That’s a challenge, But I won’t say it’s a roadblock. We know the itinerary and we are taking it positively. It’s simply like we are playing on different venues. Like we are starting at Mohali. It’s a good wicket to play 40 overs. We are playing away games, yes, but then in the latter half, we are playing so many home games. So that way, it’s a positive thing as well.”
The Delhi side consists of many youngsters, including Prithvi Shaw, Abhishek Sharma, and Manjot Kalra & co. On this Amre said that it has always been Delhi’s strategy to invest in youngsters.
“Delhi always wanted to invest in future and not only this year, We started with Rishabh (Pant), Shreyas Iyer when they just came from U-19 and they are our key players now. And we are very hopeful of these current guys – Prithvi (Shaw), Manjot (Kalra), Abhishek (Sharma) – who helped India win the U-19 World Cup. Even Avesh (Khan) is also a youngster. We have got around seven players under 23. One of the plans in the auction was to invest in future and we are happy with the players we have invested in. I am sure after a couple of years, they will be as good as Shreyas and Rishabh are for our team.”
But also getting back some of the experienced players, that have played for Delhi in the past was crucial stated Praveen Amre, “It was a new auction. So we came up with a new strategy, Only youngsters are not going to help. It has to be a blend of experienced players and youngsters. Delhi has always been a fearless unit and we believe this side is like that as well. Maxwell is there. Morris is there."
“Also, the focus in the auction was to back the players who have played for us for a long time,(Shahbaz) Nadeem has been there for eight years, Jayant (Yadav) for three years. Gautam (Gambhir) coming back to the Delhi is also going to help us. Naman Ojha has also played for Delhi and came back. So we tried to get back that unit who knows the culture of Delhi and they wanted to be part of that family.”
(With inputs from Wisden India)