By Tridib Baparnash
New Delhi, April 6 (IANS) Reacting to former India captain Sourav Ganguly’s assertion that the Delhi Daredevils are one of the weaker sides in the 2017 Indian Premier League (IPL), former Team India Director Ravi Shastri on Thursday said no team can be written off easily in the shortest format of the game.
“You can’t write anybody off in the IPL because once you get on a winning run, you win a game and then three-four on the trot. I am not saying only for the Daredevils but it could be any team,” Shastri told IANS on the sidelines of the launch of the Audi A3 Sedan here.
Ganguly had said on Tuesday that the Daredevils, who finished sixth in the eight-team tournament last year, lacked balance and composition going into the IPL, especially after losing South African batsman Quinton de Kock.
De Kock is suffering from a fractured finger sustained during the Wellington Test against New Zealand, while Jean Paul Duminy has backed out citing personal reasons.
Top order batsman Shreyas Iyer has also been ruled out for a week with a bout of chickenpox while star all-rounder, Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews, will miss at least the first half of the IPL as he is recovering from calf and hamstring injuries.
But the 54-year-old Shastri candidly disagreed with the Bengal southpaw, saying that the Delhi team has the right balance and it’s only about keeping the momentum going.
“There’s still time to see which team is better in this IPL. I believe this is a lottery. I feel they (Daredevils) always had a strong side and its just about keeping their cool towards the end stages of the tournament,” he said.
“They have always been there near the business end of the tournament and then lost the plot.”
“I am sure coach Rahul (Dravid) and captain Zaheer (Khan) are two experienced hands and they will try to change things around. They have got the players, a very good bowling unit with variety. They have got a good batting unit as well,” he added.
The Delhi Daredevils will play their first game against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in Bengaluru on Saturday.
(Tridib Baparnash can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)