Tag Archives: delhi

IPL 2017: Delhi Daredevils must shed underachievers tag to deliver on their pending promise

Every summer, when Premier League football gets underway, there is one certainty. Arsenal FC begin every season with renewed vigour, which dissipates by the end of the year, and at the turn of February-March, they are struggling to stay afloat, hoping to finish fourth again. Arsenal fans, the world over may not agree with this, but regardless of whatever their argument, this yearly routine is a fact.

Now, starting from its very genesis, the Indian Premier League has forever been drawing parallels with the Premier League. Never mind the fixing saga and ensuing ban, Chennai Super Kings were seen as Manchester United, as they won everything they came across – multiple IPL trophies and the now-defunct Champions League T20. ‘Perennial winners’ is the phrase that comes to mind.

File picture of the Delhi Daredevils team . AFP

Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore are the rich clubs, like Manchester City and Chelsea, throwing out large cheques at player auctions. Kolkata Knight Riders have the most passionate supporters, like Liverpool. Obviously, when it comes to ‘perennial underachievement’ then, Delhi Daredevils find themselves in the same classification as Arsenal.

2012 was the last time this franchise had anything to cheer about. They finished top of the league table, but failed to get going in the play-offs, finishing third. They qualified for the Champions League too, and finished top of their group therein, but failed in the semis again. With the likes of Virender Sehwag, Kevin Pietersen, Mahela Jayawardene, Aaron Finch, David Warner, Ross Taylor, Glenn Maxwell, Andre Russell, Morne Morkel and Umesh Yadav, this season didn’t seem like a total loss though.

Instead, it seemed the dawn of a new hurrah, with these names laying the foundation of a new era of success. It didn’t happen, thanks partly to downturn in the form of some of the oldies, and the rest down to poor decision making on part of the team management as they sold off (or failed to retain the other players) who could have made an impact in the years to come.

Again, it is similar to the Arsenal story. They won the 2003-04 Premier League title, and every time they win a side-trophy like the FA or League Cup, it seems there is dawn of a false new era. It has been eons since Arsenal provided a firm challenge, and no, finishing second to Leicester City doesn’t count (Arsene Wenger should have been fired for losing out last year when City, Chelsea and United were all in doldrums, but that is a different debate).

In that sense, 2012 is Delhi Daredevils’ 2004. Five years is a long, long time in T20 cricket and their current squad isn’t a patch on the one they had all those years ago. Finishing eighth (2013), seventh (2014) and eighth (2015) subsequently, they have become more than under-achievers now. It is a pity there is no relegation system herein, for the Daredevils needed to be put out of their misery. Perhaps, it was the rude jolt their team management needed in order to buck up and make intelligent decisions.

2016 had seemed a little different then. Their squad was heavily inspired by the banned Rajasthan Royals’ outfit, bringing in the Rahul Dravid and Paddy Upton combination to manage, and the much-celebrated Gary Kirsten was let go. The message was clear – the Daredevils had bought into the youth-first policy and heavy invested by putting their eggs in one basket. The result was okay – finishing sixth – but stayed in the hunt for a play-off spot for long, only running out of steam at the very end. Almost like Wenger had been fired from Arsenal, and the new manager had hit the reset button, overseeing a period of transition at the club.

This is where the analogy ends, for Wenger is still there and on the verge of signing a new contract. More pertinently, in the context of this upcoming 2017 IPL season, the Daredevils are in a familiar territory. It is a make or break season for them, for next year all players go back in the auction pool, and the teams will be reshuffled. Maybe there will be an option to retain or buyback by matching the highest bid, it is undecided. Even so, it puts firm onus on this season’s performance, to gauge if this ‘youth’ blueprint even works.

So how are the Daredevils shaping up this season? Two of their important imports are out of this season – Quinton de Kock and JP Duminy. Both players are mercurial in their own definitive way; de Kock can blow hot and cold, it is all a bit moody time for him. If he gets going, like in 2016 (445 runs in 13 matches), he can be a firecracker both in front and behind the stumps.

Duminy is a bigger miss. Zaheer Khan, now 38, will never play every single match of the IPL season. The South African was the obvious choice to step in as skipper in his stead, and his experience in the lower-middle order will be sorely missed.

All is not lost though. For once, the Daredevils’ management spent good money (read judiciously) in the player auctions and their purchase list this year is pretty impressive. Take a look – pacers Pat Cummins and Kagiso Rabada, all-rounders Angelo Mathews and Corey Anderson, plus keeper-batsman Aditya Tare and spinner Murugan Ashwin. They released Nathan Coulter-Nile, Imran Tahir and Pawan Negi, freeing up important spots in their first-choice line-up.

Mathews, who has played for Daredevils before, can step up as captain when Zaheer needs a rest. Additionally, the injuries could be a stroke of inadvertent luck. Players like Carlos Brathwaite, Sam Billings and Anderson can get a long run of games, and these are impact players, in the Chris Morris-mould. Cummins is coming off the back of a fantastic two Tests in Ranchi and Dharamsala, while Rabada is already a rising star in every format of the game.

They can be used alternatively with Zaheer, in bolstering the pace attack, whilst the return of Mohammed Shami is always a good thing. Tare covers up for de Kock adequately, while the evergreen Amit Mishra, Jayant Yadav and Shahbaz Nadeem have the spin department covered between them.

And so, the focus once again will squarely be on the young guns. Shreyas Iyer and Karun Nair have a lot to prove given the lofty standards they have set themselves. Sanju Samson is in search of a fresh start to his promising-but-faltering career graph.

There is Rishabh Pant who has a hard-hitting reputation to live up to. This batting foursome will sew up the top order, along with Tare, and together they boast of enough firepower with the T20 experience of Brathwaite, Anderson and Morris/Billings to boost up the run-rate as needed later.

On paper, much like Arsenal every season, this squad promises a lot once again. Delivering on the field of play, however, is a different prospect altogether.

DD squad: Zaheer Khan (c), Shashank Singh, Mohammed Shami, Shahbaz Nadeem, Jayant Yadav, Amit Mishra, Sreyas Iyer, Sam Billings, Sanju Samson, Chris Morris, Carlos Brathwaite, Angelo Mathews, Corey Anderson, Kagiso Rabada, Pat Cummins, Ankit Bawne, Aditya Tare, Murugan Ashwin, Navdeep Saini, Karun Nair, Rishabh Pant, CV Milind, Syed Ahmed, Pratyush Singh.

‘Fitoor’ in Janpath: Aditya Roy Kapur and Katrina Kaif go shopping in Delhi

New Delhi: It was shopping time for Aditya Roy Kapur and Katrina Kaif. The actors, who are in the national capital to promote their forthcoming film Fitoor, went on a shopping spree here.

The actors went to the street shopping hub Janpath market in the capital on Saturday afternoon, and picked up some knick-knacks for each other.

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According to a source, the actors got a window from their busy schedule, and they made sure they made the most of it.

It is a well-known fact that Katrina splashed colours of red to her tresses for the role as Firdaus in the film. And it seems that she was channelling her character during the shopping sojourn with her clothes.

The actress looked ravishing in a printed red jumpsuit, while Aditya sported a casual look. Aditya helped Katrina select earrings and bangles.

They even gifted each other. Katrina bought a smart stole for Aditya, while he picked up earrings for her.

The on-screen couple will be seen romancing in the Abhishek Kapoor-directorial, which will hit the screens on February 12.

Delhi court frames charges against Peepli Live co-director Farooqui for alleged sexual assault

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Wednesday framed charge against Peepli Live co-director Mahmood Farooqui for allegedly sexually assaulting an American researcher and fixed 9 September to launch day-to-day trial in the case.

Mahmood Farooqui. IBNLive

The court, however, kept pending Farooqui’s bail plea and is likely to decide on it after recording the evidence of the complainant who has been summoned on 14 September.

“On March 28 at accused’s residence in Sukhdev Vihar, you (Farooqui) committed rape of the prosecutrix in the manner as defined under Section 375, punishable under Section 376 of the IPC. Let the charge be framed. The application of bail be kept pending,” Additional Sessions Judge Sanjiv Jain said.

The judge also asked the director of forensic lab to expedite the examination of case property in the case and submit the report at the earliest, as the complainant’s visa is valid upto 5 October only.

This direction came after the investigating officer (IO) filed a report on behalf of the FSL director that the case has been taken up on priority and the forensic results would be ready by 30 September. The court directed the FSL to submit its report ten days earlier on the grounds that the complainant would have to return to the US by 5 October.

An application was moved by Farooqui seeking inspection of her phone which allegedly had text messages relating to case after which the mobile phone was sent to forensic department.

The court fixed 9, 10, 11, 14, 15 and 16 September for daily trial proceedings and directed the DCP south-east to depute a senior officer to ensure the presence of witnesses summoned as per the order for the dates fixed.

Farooqui had moved the bail application through his lawyer Nitya Ramakrishnan, who had submitted that the accused was a “law abiding citizen” and his family has been cooperative in the probe. However, the prosecution had opposed his bail plea, saying it was a heinous crime. Farooqui is in the judicial custody since 20 June for allegedly raping the 35-year-old woman in an inebriated state after inviting her for dinner at his house.

The court’s order came after Additional Public Prosecutor AT Ansari moved an application under section 309 of CrPC for holding day-to-day proceedings of trial in the case.

“Since the trial of the case relates to an offence under section 376 (rape) of the IPC and the victim of crime is a foreign national, it is expedient in the interest of justice that the proceedings of the trial be held as expeditiously as possible,” the APP said.

The prosecutor, in another application, sought direction from the court to call upon Farooqui to admit or deny the genuineness of documents including electronic records filed before it.

Farooqui pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.

The woman, a research scholar from Colombia University, had alleged in her complaint filed at New Friends colony police station that Farooqui had raped her at his Sukhdev Vihar house in south Delhi on March 28, 2015, when she had gone to meet him to get his help for her research work.

She had claimed to have met Farooqui at Varanasi where she had gone to collect information about her research theme based on Baba Gorakhnath.