With two wins out of the three matches they have played so far, Delhi Daredevils have looked in a much better place than where they were last year. The Zaheer Khan-led unit was hit by two big injuries, in the batting department, before the season got underway but the youngsters have stepped up and delivered for the team. Quinton de Kock and JP Duminy were two huge blows but the likes of Sanju Samson, Sam Billings and Rishabh Pant have certainly delivered the goods. A quick look at Delhi’s squad won’t give you many big batting names to lose sleep over but there are plenty of match-winners, who have been consistent scorers in the domestic set-up, in the ranks. (Results | Fixtures | Points Table)
Samson, who had a forgettable domestic run, has looked a different player and announced himself on the stage with a hundred in as early as the ninth game of the Indian Premier League. There has been no stopping the hard-hitting Pant and Billings is quietly doing a fine job at top of the order. Even after so much talent, Delhi are not being able to get the kind of scores, and impact, they should with the bat. The batting order remains a concern for them. With so much promise around, it’s important to give the right player right number of deliveries to face.
Aditya Tare was experimented with Billings at top for first two games but the former’s exclusion after twin failures led to promotion for Samson, and the right-hander made most of the opportunity. While Billings and Samson at top makes a lot of sense, it’s the batsmen to follow who need the right spots to bat. After another failure for Karun Nair, the struggling 21 off 27 against KKR, it’s matter of time before he makes way for an all-rounder. Someone like Shreyas Iyer, who is back after recovering from chicken pox, needs to come in no later than no.3. On a day when either Samson or Billings fail, it’s important to have someone who can make most of the fielding restrictions and bat long.
There is no reason why the Delhi think-tank should demote Pant in the order. A batsman like him can change the complexion of the game if he gets enough deliveries to do so. He showed that in the game against KKR with a 16-ball 38. In the same game, Angelo Mathews coming ahead of Chris Morris made very little sense. It wasn’t a wise call to keep someone like Morris, who is hitting the ball as well as you would like this season, to keep waiting for the chance to bat.
Still early days in the competition, Delhi should look to sort their top-order act and keep rotating the lower-order according to situation. It makes very little sense to not give enough deliveries to batsmen like Pant and Morris.