Apart from the mood in the Delhi Daredevils' camp, two other positives that emerged from the season's first practice session at the Ferozshah Kotla on Sunday were skipper Virender Sehwag and Umesh Yadav's fitness.
Sehwag, who was rested for the Asia Cup after he complained of back spasms, took part in his first practice after returning from Australia last month. The opener looked in fine touch as he even extended the session by half an hour.
"He (Sehwag) is excited to be back and looks fit and even had an extended session in the nets," said head coach Eric Simmons.
Umesh, who was also given a break during the Asia Cup, played in the Deodhar Trophy but wasn't impressive for the Central Zone. He finished with just wickets from as many games but Simmons said he was positive that the young India pacer would do well in the Indian Premier League. "It wasn't as if he had an injury, it was more of him being on the road for too long. He is fit now and will be crucial to our chances," he added.
With mostly India players taking part, Simmons said it was good that he could focus on them as the most of the overseas players were playing for their national teams. "The overseas players have more experience and can adapt to their roles quickly. As for those here, it is good that I am getting more time to spend with them before the tournament," said Simmons.
It was the Daredevils who helped Umesh and David Warner get noticed on the big stage and team mentor TA Sekar was hopeful that this time too they would give another youngster an opportunity to shine.
"The IPL has done a lot for people. Nobody knew Warner in 2008. Sehwag has inspired him a lot and now he is playing all three forms of cricket. It's not just the Indians who benefit, the foreign players too get to learn a lot," said Sekar.
The Daredevils, who finished last in the previous edition, start their campaign against KKR on April 5 at the Eden Gardens.