One thing the Indian Premier League has shown time and again is that success goes hand in hand with a settled team core and a captain who knows his players inside out.
Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders validate that theory. But very few teams have been able to emulate CSK and KKR’s methodology, certainly not the Delhi Daredevils and Sunrisers Hyderabad who face off here on Saturday.
Initially banking on the star power of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, Daredevils opted for Mahela Jayawardene as captain in 2012 and 2013. The next season saw them make wholesale changes, opting for a new side with Kevin Pieterson as the leader. With Pieterson not retained and then bought by Hyderabad, Jean Paul Duminy was made the captain this season after Daredevils broke the bank to buy Yuvraj Singh (Rs. 16 crore) and Angelo Mathews (Rs. 7.5 crore).
Hyderabad had at least shown some stability on the player roster front before releasing Aaron Finch, Darren Sammy, Brendan Taylor, Irfan Pathan and Amit Mishra this season.
But their captaincy too does not look sorted. In their first season in 2013, Hyderabad had Kumar Sangakkara leading for nine matches before Cameron White took over for the rest of the campaign.
India opener Shikhar Dhawan took charge last season, only for Sammy to replace him in the last four matches. This year, they have appointed David Warner, who was with Delhi till 2013, as captain. There is lot of uncertainty in the strategising, especially in the leadership department.
Hyderabad coach Tom Moody admitted it was a problem.
Despite the big names in their ranks, Delhi have looked unsettled in recent years. It reflected in their 11-match losing streak that Yuvraj Singh helped end the last match against KXIP.