Responding to former India captain Sourav Ganguly’s recent comments that Delhi Daredevils are one of the weaker sides in the 2017 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), veteran spinner Amit Mishra has said that he feels motivated by such statements.
Speaking at a pre-season press conference on behalf of his team, Mishra said he didn’t agree with the assessment of Ganguly, who had also criticised the player selections of Delhi Daredevils.
“I feel very motivated when someone says something like this. He was a great player, so I don’t want to say anything about him, but I feel the team has been doing really well since I joined in 2015. Even last season, we were two matches away from making the play-offs. Had we won those two matches, we would have been in the play-offs,” Mishra said.
“If you look at the last season, we performed quite well, but lost some crucial matches. We have a more balanced team now than last season. I think we will do really well this time,” he added.
With Delhi looking to shed their ‘underachievers’ tag this season, having invested a significant amount of money on their bowling line-up, Mishra, who has played in all the nine IPL seasons prior to this, said the current squad is more balanced than last season’s.
“We have been making some improvement every year. The way the team has been put together for this season, it has been very well-planned. Many meetings were held before this team was finalised, and I think this is a really good side. Whatever deficiencies we have had over the last few seasons, sincere efforts have been made to address those deficiencies,” he commented.
Player injuries won’t affect IPL campaign
Delhi Daredevils will be missing some of their key players in the tournament, with South African stars JP Duminy pulling out due to personal issues and Quinton de Kock currently out with a finger fracture.
A recent injury to all-rounder Angelo Mathews, as well as top-order batsman Shreyas Iyer’s illness, has complicated matters for the team. Mishra, however, is confident that the team will do well in their absence.
“JP (Duminy) has some personal problems. It’s not good for a player to play in such a situation. It’s better to be at home and take care of his family now. As far as Quinton de Kock is concerned, he is injured, but will be back into the team as soon as he recovers.
“But even without the injured players, we have very good team strength. The players have gelled well in the last three-four days. As per the information have, most of the injured players should be back after four-five games,” he stated.
With some of their best batsmen on the sidelines, at least for now, the 34-year-old feels that it’s a good chance for the other players to step up.
“We have quite a few all-rounders in the team. Carlos Brathwaite, for example, can bat up the order in the absence of the injured batsmen. We have quite a few good domestic players, who are in the team because of their talent. It’s a good chance for them to step up and prove themselves,” said Mishra.
Delhi Daredevils will travel to Bengaluru on Thursday, ahead of the opening game of their IPL 2017 campaign against Royal Challengers Bangalore on April 8.