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Shipperd faces onerous ask of shaping a team

cricket Updated: Apr 09, 2011 01:10 IST
Shalabh Manocha
Shalabh Manocha
Hindustan Times
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Taking charge of a new team is never easy. No one would know this better than Delhi Daredevils coach Greg Shipperd. It is his fourth year with the team, but he will have to handle a lot of new faces this time.

"We have a new looking squad this IPL and for me it is a big challenge to get the best out of the players, especially those who have joined this year," Shipperd told HT at the teams’ optional practice session at the Roshanara Ground on Thursday.

Shipperd's task has been to make the squad gel in ten days, with skipper Virender Sehwag joining only after the World Cup final.

"We have some very good players but we will only improve if we play as a unit. I'm asking players to spend as much time together as possible even off the field."

Daredevils failed to qualify among the top three teams for the Champions League last year. And their experienced players like Gautam Gambhir and Tillakaratne Dilshan have also moved out this time.

"It is never easy to fill the shoes of players like Gambhir. He is a local, knows the conditions and was the skipper, but then that is how this game is," said the 54-year-old Australian.

Their first test will be on Sunday, against last year's runners-up Mumbai Indians at the Ferozshah Kotla.