IPL 2018: Gautam Gambhir Returns as Delhi Daredevils Captain
Former Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir has been appointed as the captain of the Delhi Daredevils team for the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which will mark his return to the franchise after a gap of eight years.
Gambhir, who led KKR to two IPL titles but was released for IPL 2018, was bought by DD for Rs 2.8 crore at the auction in January.
Delhi made the announcement at an event in New Delhi on Wednesday, 7 March, where they also launched their new jersey.
The two-time World Cup-winning player added, “The potential of this group of players is immense and it is now up to us to turn that potential into consistent performances. It is also going to be great to work in unison with Ricky (Ponting), an absolute champion himself”.
Daredevils’ CEO Hemant Dua took to Twitter to make the announcement.
Fun to be in a Peaceful Delhi Team: Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir has had a few run-ins with Delhi's cricket establishment in the last two years, but back in the state as captain of Delhi Daredevils, the batsman is hoping that playing in a "peaceful environment" will bring the best out of him.
"It's fun to be in a peaceful environment and I haven't had it in last couple of years", a smiling Gambhir said referring to his regular fall-out with DDCA state selectors, officials and coach.
"It's good fun (to be a part of Daredevils) and it can bring the best out of me. It will be good that I will be able to play in a good, peaceful and happy environment", Gambhir said at the franchise's jersey unveiling ceremony.
Having led a successful franchise like KKR for many years, Gambhir believes that one shouldn't look at impact players like Glenn Maxwell with their hefty auction price in mind.
"It's not at all difficult to manage players as it's the performance that will keep them in the playing XI. And it starts with me. I need to perform to be in that playing XI.
"And sometimes, it's not about the price tag but about game-changers, who need to be given a longer rope because they can change the game. You don't expect them to be consistent but you expect them to win 3 or 4 games", Gambhir said expanding his point.
"It's not about price tag as it's not in players' hand. The only thing in players hand is to perform for the team. That's what's going to keep him in the side", the skipper added.
Questioned if it's difficult to lead a new side which is not his handpicked, the stylish left-handed replied saying, "It was same when I took charge of KKR in 2011. But in this team, my inputs have been taken. Our CEO Hemant (Dua) got me and Ricky on the same page. When I look at the side, I see there's a lot of potential". Gambhir also took a dig at a scribe who asked the most cliched question about whether IPL could be a vehicle for India comeback.
"Every year before IPL, I am asked a standard question as to how important the tournament will be for my comeback. You don't play a tournament eyeing a comeback, you play to win it.
"It is a selfish way to think that you are playing a particular tournament for comeback. You can never win the IPL like that and my aim is to win it for DD.
"If you can make a comeback, then it's a by-product. As a leader, my thought process can't be like that", he concluded.
(With inputs from PTI)
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