Gambhir steps down as DD captain, Shreyas Iyer to lead.
It was my decision. I haven’t contributed enough to the team. I had to take the responsibility being the leader of the ship. I feel it was the right time: Gautam Gambhir on stepping down as captain of Delhi Daredevils.
Gautam Gambhir has not quite had a happy homecoming as leader of Delhi Daredevils (DD) in the 11th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), presiding over one loss after another in the initial stages of the tournament, following which he has now decided to stand down from captaincy.
Leading Delhi in Gambhir’s stead for the rest of the tournament will be rookie batsman Shreyas Iyer, as revealed at a press conference in New Delhi on Wednesday. Iyer has been in fine form with the bat so far in the tournament, but hasn’t had much leadership experience at the highest level of the game.
The Daredevils are lying at the bottom of the points table with five losses from six games so far in the tournament, with a poor net run rate to go with it. Their latest defeat came at the hands of Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in their first home game of the tournament, in which they failed to chase down a modest 144.
“Absolutely my decision. I thought that I haven’t contributed enough, and at the same time the performance of the team. I had to take responsibility being the leader of this ship, and I owe that responsibility. I feel that it was the right time because we are very much in this competition.
“So, absolutely my decision, no pressure from the franchise. They’ve been absolutely supportive about it,” said Gambhir, when quizzed if the decision to step down was entirely his own or not.
Gambhir’s surprise announcement comes two days before the side’s seventh game of the competition, in which the Daredevils were set to host Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), the team that Gambhir had led to two title triumphs (2012 and 2014).
When asked about his thoughts on his immediate future with the Daredevils, Gambhir said: “It’s too early for me to decide on that. Let me sit down and decide. Still need some time. It’s about what DD achieve, is what’s more important to me than what I achieve. We still have a great chance to turn things around. Let’s talk about DD, and not myself.”