Kotla track is a concern: Delhi coach Shipperd
New Delhi: Only time will tell whether Delhi Daredevils management got it horribly wrong at the IPL auctions bidding for eight fast bowlers but their coach Greg Shipperd is certainly a worried man as far as the nature of the Kotla track is concerned.
The Feroz Shah Kotla track over the years has slowed down considerably and it`s been a hardwork for pacers who now have to really bend their backs as the ball keeps low.
"Yes, the pitch is a concern. But we will have to use our part-timers well," the coach couldn`t come up with a convincing answer when asked about the logic of picking up eight fast bowlers (Morne Morkel, Umesh Yadav, Ashok Dinda, Varun Aaron, Irfan Pathan, Ajit Agarkar, Aavishkar Salvi, Andrew McDonald) when their home ground isn`t suited for fast bowling.
There has been a mass exodus from the Delhi team which was one of the most formidable during the first three years but the Australian thinks that it will be an opportunity for the youngsters to make a mark.
"We have a young group of players who are eager to make a mark at the big stage. This is an ideal platform to shine and we have youngsters who have the spirit and hunger to do well," Shipperd said.
Asked about the younger players, Shipperd was prompt in naming 17-year-old Delhio opener Unmukt Chand as the "one for the future."
"Unmukt Chand is a terrific talent and I feel that he is a future India prospect," was Shipperd`s assessment about the player who has been the find of this Ranji Trophy season.
The DD has selected some of the old guards like Sridharan Sriram and Ajit Agarkar who are considered to be well past their sell-by-date.
"Well, the two you have mentioned are among the older players. But a team needs to have a good blend of youth and experience. Sriram and Agarkar bring along with them a lot of cricketing knowledge that will help the youngsters in the team."
Shipperd made no bones about the fact that he has impressed with Irfan Pathan who would be making a comeback to big-time cricket with this tourney.
"Irfan has been patient and methodical with his rehabilitation. He has played four practice games. He is able to swing the ball. He is very experienced and we expect him to play the dual role," the coach said.
The coach didn`t divulge as to who among David Warner, Naman Ojha and Aaron Finch will be opening the innings with skipper Sehwag.
As of now, Warner with his IPL experience looks favourite. "Warner has had some good scores under his belt in the first-class matches recently. He has scored a 100 and a 99. So he is maturing as a player."
Asked about the other foreigner slots that are available, the coach haven`t yet decided on the combination.
"We have some good foreign players like Travis Birt, Mathew Wade, Finch. It`s a happy problem to have."
Is it a David versus Goaliath contest according to you, asked a scribe. "Mumbai is a very good side but we don`t mind being the David tomorrow," Shipperd signed off.