Why Delhi Daredevils mentor Rahul Dravid left bitterly disappointed, again

Rahul Dravid feels that Delhi Daredevils’ inability to win matches that went to the wire affected their campaign in the Indian Premier League (IPL) this year. Daredevils ended their campaign with a loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Sunday, finishing sixth in the standings.

ipl 2017 Updated: May 15, 2017 23:36 IST
Sayan Ghosh
Sayan Ghosh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
IPL 2017,IPL playoffs,Delhi Daredevils
Delhi Daredevils captain Zaheer Khan and mentor Rahul Dravid (right) during a training session at Eden Garden in Kolkata during IPL 2017.(PTI)

Delhi Daredevils (DD) mentor Rahul Dravid believes that Mumbai Indians (MI) are the favourities to win the Indian Premier League (IPL) title, but they will face tough opposition from the other three teams -- Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS), Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). (RPS vs KXIP match highlights)

“Mumbai (Indians) finished top of the table and are looking quite strong. But, Kolkata Knight Riders, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rising Pune Supergiant are all good sides and we can expect quite a few exciting matches in the play-off stage,” said Dravid after Delhi Daredevils’ 10-run loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in their final match of the season on Sunday. (Daredevils vs RCB scorecard)

Dravid also cited his Delhi Daredevils’ inability to win close matches as the main reason behind their disappointing run in the 2017 Indian Premier League (IPL) season.

“We were unable to win a lot games from close situations and that proved to be our downfall this season. It is important to win these kind of games in the IPL and we could manage just 2-3 wins from those positions”, he said.

Delhi Daredevils were in a similar position on Sunday as they needed 13 runs to win from the final over, but a brilliant performance from Pawan Negi handed Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore the victory.

When asked about the match, Dravid said, “We kept losing wickets at regular intervals and the pressure of the required rate got to us. RCB bowled really well and we were unable to finish the game.”

Delhi Daredevils suffered a huge blow before the start of the season when Quinton De Kock and JP Duminy both opted out of the tournament. It left a huge hole in the DD batting line up and Rahul Dravid believes that they were never really able to recover from those losses.

“We lost (Quinton) De Kock and JP (Duminy) before the tournament and as a result, our batting line-up was quite inexperienced when compared to other teams. They are really good players of this format and it was too late for us to find good replacements for them.”

Delhi Daredevils finished the season at sixth with 12 points from 14 matches. It was a disappointing run for DD, but Dravid believes that the team can take quite a lot of positives from this season.

“The youngsters played brilliantly for us and I believe that they have the potential to become huge stars. Players like Rishabh (Pant) and Sanju (Samson) have really proved their mettle against good bowling line-ups and if they are consistent, the future looks extremely bright for them.”

First Published: May 15, 2017 10:32 IST