A build-up marred by pullouts of top players notwithstanding, Delhi Daredevils’ spinner Amit Mishra, on Wednesday said that it would be “unfair to write us off” ahead of the tenth edition of Indian Premier League.
Mishra said that Daredevils are formidable despite losing two key players in former skipper JP Duminy and swashbuckling keeper Quinton de Kock. While Duminy pulled out of the tournament owing to personal reasons, de Kock was ruled out because of an injury.
“JP Duminy has some personal problems and that’s why he pulled out. When something like that happens, it’s better the player stays with the family. It’s never nice to keep on playing,” Mishra said. “De Kock got injured and we can do very little about that. Whenever he’s fit, he’ll walk back in the team,” he added.
The 33-year-old added that Daredevils could not be written off just yet. “Yes, it’s not ideal but that doesn’t mean you can write us off. The good thing is the guys have gelled well in the last few days and I feel we have a very good team this time. We are working hard. I’m confident we are going to do well,” Mishra said.
Labelled as the tournament’s perennial underachievers, the Daredevils last made it to the play-offs way back in 2012. Since then, the Delhi outfit has finished in the bottom half of the points table in the last four seasons, “Yes, this is the tenth edition and it would have been nice to have won at least once in the last nine years,” he said.
“But in my last three years, I’ve seen the team improve and do well. When people say that we are a weak team, it motivates me personally and I want to prove them wrong. This time the team we’ve made, there has been a lot of thought put into it, there were several meetings and I’m sure, you’ll see the results,” Mishra added.
Pointing out at the Zaheer Khan-led outfit nearly made it to the play-offs last year, the leg-spinner insisted that his side had the balance to progress past the round-robin stages, “This year we have a balanced team and we will try to do better than last year,” he said.
When about the on-field altercations between Indian and Australian cricketers that marred the recently-concluded Border-Gavaskar series, Mishra said the current Indian team will give it back when provoked. “Every player tries to be calm and cool on the field and concentrate more on the game. The Indian team never provokes anyone but if somebody fingers us we are not the ones to sit quietly,” he said.