Kevin Pietersen and Dinesh Karthik were two of the most expensive buys in the auction for IPL 7. Both were purchased by Delhi Daredevils for whopping sums, and Delhi would have hoped that they would come up with sterling performances to guide the team in the tournament. It wasn’t to be the case though as both the big names struggled and, with not many other star players in their midst, Delhi had to play a heavy price for the lack of runs from KP and wicket-keeper batsman Karthik. For sure, they would be extremely disappointed with the manner in which Pietersen and Karthik, as well as the rest of the players performed.
Delhi finished the league stage positioned last, and were out of contention for a place in the play-offs, much before the other sides actually began battling it out for the same. With 12 losses and just two wins from 14 games, they were clearly the punching bag of IPL 7. As for individual performances, there wasn’t much to cheer about as well. Skipper Pietersen was injured for the early part of the tournament, and even when he featured in the XI, he did not make much of an impact either as batsman for captain.
For the record, Pietersen featured in 11 games and ended up with 294 runs at a strike rate of 126. He managed only a solitary half- century during the course of the event, not the kind of stats the men who are pumping money into Delhi Daredevils were expecting when they handed Pietersen a heavy price to represent them as well as lead them. In a cruel irony, the men who chose him actually ended up paying a heavy price for their most expensive buy.
Karthik was equally disappointing if not more. Following the auctions, many cricket pundits wondered whether Delhi had overestimated Karthik’s talent. Now that the results are out, these men in charge might as well be ruing their decision. For the handsome sum that the Tamil Nadu veteran was paid, he finished with only 325 runs having featured in all the 14 games. Karthik maintained a strike rate of 126 during the event, and managed only three half-centuries in all. Considering that he batted in the top half of the order throughout, his figures end up looking even more abysmal. Yet again, Karthik has flattered to deceive.
If there is one player who stood out for Delhi during their catastrophic run, it was JP Duminy. He finished the tournament with 410 runs from 14 games, scoring two fifties at a strike rate of 134. For inexplicable reasons, he batted in the lower half of the batting order. Lack of runs from Quinton de Kock and Murali Vijay also did not help the team’s cause. About Delhi’s bowling, the less said the better. There were high hopes from Mohammed Shami, but he did not deliver. In a nutshell, Delhi failed as a team.
--By A Cricket Analyst