New Delhi: Since the beginning of the tenth edition of Indian Premier League (IPL), Delhi Daredevils were a side which were said to have the best bowling attack in the competition. In Pat Cummins, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada and skipper Zaheer Khan, DD had a potent pace attack which was a nightmare for any opposition. While the bowling attack was at its best, Delhi's batting order unfortunately didn't give them enough runs to defend.
At a time when most of the teams backed big names at the top of their batting order, Rahul Dravid, Delhi's coach, threw his weight behind youngsters. Karun Nair, Rishab Pant and Sanju Samson are definitely among the top young talents of the country, but they failed to click together, adding to Delhi's woes.
But in the last two matches, the young batsmen of Daredevils finally lived up to the expectations. After beating defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad by six wickets in their previous match, the Daredevils registered their most comprehensive win against Gujarat Lions in Match 42.
Chasing a 208-run total, Sanju Samson and Rishab Pant played two of the most sensational innings of this season. The duo added a magnificent 143-run partnership for the second wicket, where they tonked Gujarat bowlers to all parts of the ground. While Sanju hit 61 runs off 31 balls, Rishab in particular was in a brutal mood as the 19-year-old hammered 97 runs off just 43 balls. By the time Sanju was dismissed by Ravindra Jadeja in the 14th over of the innings, the damage had been done and the scoreboard read 167/2.
Dravid, who has spent a lot of time with these players as the coach, would be extremely proud of the way his boys have fought back in the tournament.
Delhi's stand-in skipper Nair, who has now led the team to two consecutive wins in a row, was full of praise for the partnership, which saw plenty of fireworks.
"Amazing performance, one of the best partnerships I've ever seen," Nair said after DD romped home, scoring 214-3 with 15 balls to spare.
"You can't have a plan when you're chasing that much, just have to go from ball 1.
"We spoke about playing with freedom and not worrying about the fear of failure. The fear of getting out goes out the way, you then just watch and hit the ball," he said.
With the comprehensive win, Delhi also shattered Gujarat's hopes of making it to the play-offs.
Delhi are now ranked sixth in the points table with four wins from ten matches. They will now take on Mumbai Indians at Feroz Shah Kotla on May 6.