Delhi Daredevils revamped their squad for the 11th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at January’s player auction, bringing in two time IPL winning captain Gautam Gambhir and other big-time T20 players like Jason Roy, Colin Munro, Glenn Maxwell and Trent Boult and bought back Kagiso Rabada and Mohammed Shami into the squad.
However, things haven’t gone so well for the DD team and fans, as they lie in the last place on the points table with one win from four matches so far. The team has faced tremendous criticism for their performance by fans on social media; something that has hurt DD captain Gautam Gambhir a lot.
In his column in Times of India, Gambhir wrote, “To my mind we now have a new body part – a smart phone. You just need to glance around and you will know what I mean. Currently India has 490 million smart phone users. Or, for those like me who are more comfortable with crore, 490 million equals to 49 crores. A healthy chunk of this number is on social media/Whatsapp and the other blah …blah… Many of these are sitting with their judgement glasses on, eager to hurl verdicts. As I was writing the column I got this one on my new team: “Drop Mohammad Shami and play Avesh Khan. Drop Vijay Shankar and play Prithvi Shaw. Besides there are too many Ds in the name Delhi Daredevils which is not a good sign as D stands for defeat.”
The 36-year-old former India captain wrote, “With one win in four games, social media trial has begun for Delhi Daredevils. In the times when everything is judged on “trolls”, “hits”, “followers” or “likes”, it seems my team has committed some sort of crime. If we don’t react in a certain way it doesn’t mean we aren’t hurt. We are all concerned that we conceded almost 200 runs in two consecutive games. We won against Mumbai Indians but even that night I went to bed worried. Yes, we should have been more competitive against Kolkata Knight Riders. But if you read what your smart phone has to say it would seem that we have given them a walkover!”
Delhi Daredevils finished sixth on the points table with six wins from 14 games in IPL 2017.
“One of my fellow captains – majorly bugged by the overtly demanding team owners – once said, “Everyone knows what should be the playing eleven. The trouble is no one knows who is this ‘everyone’? ” Like for a batsman form is one stroke away, in a team game winning combination is one win away. Just keep the faith or in social media glossary: just keep the “likes” coming,” wrote Gambhir, who has 4210 runs in IPL, the fourth most.
“IPL is a sort of a tournament where it is crucial to get combinations right. I am not one to hide behind excuses but in a new team like ours getting right combinations can take a few games,” said Gambhir, who will lead DD against RCB next on Saturday.