In the Indian Premier League match between Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders, it was the first time in 122 matches that Gautam Gambhir wasn’t leading his franchise – including both Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders and also the first time in a match between the two teams – a total of 22 – that the veteran opener wasn’t in either of the two squads.
Whenever a list of most inspirational captains in the Indian Premier League (IPL) is made, Gautam Gambhir’s name will surely ride high, not just for the titles that he has won with the Kolkata Knight Riders but also for his attitude of putting the team always in front of himself. Giving another brilliant example of his selfless nature, Gambhir decided to step down as captain of the Delhi Daredevils team after guiding them to just one win in six matches in season 11. While the seventh match saw the southpaw not even making the playing XI, questions were raised as to if the new captain Shreyas Iyer dropped him from the squad, but it later was revealed that it was Gambhir’s own decision to sit out.
It was the first time in 122 matches that Gambhir wasn’t leading his franchise – including both Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders and also the first time in a match between the two teams (a total of 22) that the veteran opener wasn’t in either of the two squads. In a battle of many first times, Iyer led the Daredevils fightback in the IPL 2018 as the Knight Riders looked clueless in handling the onslaught of the wounded hosts at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium which saw them smack this season’s top score by putting 219 runs on board.
After restricting KKR to 164/9, Iyer claimed his first win as captain of the franchise and later cleared the air on the absence of Gambhir from the playing XI on Friday. (READ | Gautam Gambhir’s 122-match streak as skipper ends following decision to step down)
“I didn’t make any call to be honest,” Iyer revealed in the post-match presser. “It wasn’t my decision to drop him. He himself decided to sit out, which was really courageous decision with him being the captain in the previous matches. The respect for him has gone really high. It’s really [good to] see when a captain, if he’s not playing well, he backs out. Colin [Munro] came in and gave us the desired start.”
Reflecting on the manner in which Delhi claimed their second win of the campaign, the 23-year-old termed the performance as a team effort which saw every player take the responsibility.
“It’s just that we got a good start. Everyone was aware of what they had to do and contributed really well. It was a team effort. It wasn’t an individual game. Everyone stepped up to the mark and started taking responsibility,” said the DD captain.
With 2 win from seven matches, Delhi Daredevils sit 7th on the points table at the half-way mark ahead of Mumbai Indians, who have played a match less.
Artile Credit: timesnow