What’s the story?
Before the start of IPL 2017, Delhi Daredevils lost the South African duo of Quinton de Kock and JP Duminy and coach Paddy Upton admitted that they already had contingencies in place for those scenarios. He also added that they are likely to need bowling reinforcements rather than batsmen towards the end of the tournament.
Speaking to the host broadcaster during the game against Kings XI Punjab about why the duo hadn’t been replaced, Upton said: “I have been asked that question so many times. I think in putting the squad together in the first place what we really did is we made sure that there was backups for everyone. The format of this tournament, the business of the international calendar, injuries are always a factor.
“We actually had backups for both of them so there was no need to rush. With the South African bowlers leaving early, particularly Chris Morris and Kagiso Rabada, we might actually need bowling replacements rather than batting replacements.”
Ahead of the start of the tenth edition of the tournament, Delhi Daredevils suffered a major blow as De Kock and Duminy were both ruled out of the tournament. While De Kock was ruled out with a finger injury, Duminy ruled himself out due to personal reasons.
Rahul Dravid admitted that losing both players ahead of the IPL was a big blow for the Daredevils and that has been evident in their batting performances this season as an inexperienced batting line-up has struggled to achieve the consistency required to win games on the trot in the IPL.
There were plenty of eyebrows raised when they signed Ben Hilfenhaus as the replacement for JP Duminy but the team haven’t announced any replacement for De Kock either. Shreyas Iyer missed the first couple of matches and a young batting line-up struggled has struggled to get going so far.
After the game against Kings XI Punjab, Delhi’s next assignment is against Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday (April 17) at home.
The announcement of Hilfenhaus, a 34-year-old fast bowler as a replacement for JP Duminy was certainly a curious move but the fact that both Chris Morris and Kagiso Rabada won’t play the entire duration of the IPL means that it is in the bowling department that they need replacements. Players like Sam Billings, Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson have stepped up so far to fill the void left by De Kock and it will be interesting to see if Delhi make any more signing before the end of the tournament.