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Gautam Gambhir to lead Delhi Daredevils in IPL, ex-KKR captain ‘more excited than ever’

Gautam Gambhir was bought by Delhi Daredevils for Rs 2.8 crore in the 2018 Indian Premier League auction held in January after Kolkata Knight Riders didn’t retain the former Indian opener.

cricket Updated: Mar 07, 2018 14:57 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Gautam Gambhir,Delhi Daredevils,Indian Premier League
Gautam Gambhir will lead Delhi Daredevils in 2018 Indian Premier League season. Gambhir was not retained by Kolkata Knight Riders this year. Gambhir (centre) with Manjot Kalra and Naman Ojha (extreme right) in New Delhi on Wednesday.(Twitter)

Gautam Gambhir was on Wednesday appointed as the captain of Delhi Daredevils (DD) for 2018 Indian Premier League season. (IPL 2018 - FULL LIST OF PLAYERS)

Gautam Gambhir will be in his second stint with the Delhi Daredevils after exiting the two-time winners Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) ahead of the 2018 IPL auction. Gambhir had joined KKR in 2011 and went on to win Indian Premier League titles in 2012 and 2014 as captain.

The 36-year-old former Indian left-hander was bought by the Delhi Daredevils (DD) for Rs 2.8 crore, and in a media event on Wednesday the left-handed batsman was revealed as the franchise’s choice for captaincy. “I am more excited than I have ever been,” said Gambhir.

Robin Uthappa of the Kolkata Knight Riders is congratulated by Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir during a 2017 Indian Premier League tie against Kings XI Punjab in Mohali on May 9. (BCCI)

KKR NOT KEEN

Amid all the speculations that the Indian international would be bought back by the Kolkata Knight Riders using their ‘Right to Match’ card, the franchise simply snubbed their skipper.

Gautam Gambhir was part of the Delhi Daredevils franchise for the first three seasons before KKR smashed the record books to sign him up for $2.5 million in 2011.

Delhi Daredevils have once again gone through a drastic makeover, and will be hoping to finally go the distance in the tournament where they have not had much luck. In order to strengthen their chances, Delhi have roped in Ricky Ponting as their head coach and brought Gambhir back into their roster.

DD also have the likes of Trent Boult, Glenn Maxwell, Chris Morris, Mohammed Shami, Rishabh Pant, Jason Roy, Kagiso Rabada, Shreyas Iyer and Prithvi Shaw among others.

‘DELHI, AT HEART’

Last year in April, Gautam Gambhir had expressed his wish to finish with the Daredevils.

“I think my heart is still with Delhi. I played for three years for Delhi (Daredevils). Somewhere, deep within my heart, I’d love to finish with Delhi.

“Though I am the captain of Kolkata Knight Riders, and would want them to win it for the third time, but since I’m a Delhi boy too, I obviously want Delhi Daredevils to do well as well,” Gambhir said.

DD FULL SQUAD

Captain: Gautam Gambhir

Batsmen: Jason Roy, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer, Manjot Kalra, Colin Munro

Wicket-keepers: Rishabh Pant, Naman Ojha

All-rounders: Chris Morris, Glenn Maxwell, Vijay Shankar, Daniel Christian, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Jayant Yadav

Fast bowlers: Kagiso Rabada, Mohammad Shami, Trent Boult, Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel, Sayan Ghosh

Spinners: Amit Mishra, Shahbaz Nadeem, Rahul Tewatia, Abhishek Sharma, Sandeep Lamichhane

Head Coach: Ricky Ponting; Bowling Coach: James Hopes; Assistant coaches: Pravin Amre, Sridharan Sriram; Fielding coach: Subhadeep Ghosh; Physio: Paul Close; Fitness Coach: Rajinikanth Sivagnanam

First Published: Mar 07, 2018 12:42 IST