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IPL 2018: Gautam Gambhir Steps Down as Delhi Daredevils Skipper, Shreyas Iyer Takes Over

Gautam Gambhir has stepped down as the captain of Delhi Daredevils after the team's disastrous start in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), on Wednesday.

Cricketnext Staff |April 25, 2018, 5:21 PM IST
IPL 2018: Gautam Gambhir Steps Down as Delhi Daredevils Skipper, Shreyas Iyer Takes Over

New Delhi: Gautam Gambhir has stepped down as the captain of Delhi Daredevils after the team's disastrous start in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), on Wednesday. Middle-order batsman Shreyas Iyer has been handed over the reins of the team after Gambhir opted to vacate the hot-seat.

"Maybe I was too desparate to turn things around and that can backfire. It could be the reason. I just couldn't handle the pressure and when you don't do that, you have to own that up as a leader," Gambhir said in a press conference also attended by franchise CEO Hemant Dua, coach Ricky Ponting and newly-crowned skipper Shreyas Iyer.

"I was sitting alone and thinking, I couldn't handle the pressure... I was not good enough and that is all," he added.

Meanwhile, Iyer expressed his gratitude after being named as the new captain of the team and said: "I want to thank the management and my coaches for appointing me as the captain of the team. It is a great honor for me."

Gambhir later took to social media to reveal that he wasn't asked to step down but it was his personal choice to do so. His post read: "True, that I’ve stepped down from DD captaincy. Just to clarify it was my call, nothing from the management or coaching staff. I may not be leading from the front but I will be the last man standing for @DelhiDaredevils. No individual bigger than d team. Very much a #DilDIlli"

Delhi is currently struggling at the bottom of the IPL table, having registered just one win in six matches under the leadership of Gambhir. Delhi is tied with Mumbai Indians in terms of points, however, their net run-rate of -1.0 is less than that of the defending champions. Moreover, Gambhir's form with the bat hasn't been great either as he has struggled to change the fortunes of Delhi, something which he did exceedingly well during his time at Kolkata Knight Riders in previous seasons.

In six matches, Gambhir has managed to score just 85 runs, which includes 55 that he scored against Kings XI Punjab in Delhi's opening match of the season in Mohali. Since then, Gambhir has poor scores of DNB, 15, 8, 3 and 4 respectively.

Prior to this edition, Gambhir had led Delhi once in 2010, guiding them to a fifth-place finish. Gambhir returned to Delhi from Kolkata for this season amidst huge fanfare, with the Delhi management calling him the best man to lead the new-look side. But with just six games into the season, all that talk seemed to have vanished in thin air and the mammoth task of reigniting Delhi's campaign has fallen on to the shoulders of a young gun.

As far as Gambhir is concerned — with the pressure of captaincy off him now — he will look turn his form around for the good and get amongst the runs for the remainder of the season. During his seven-year stay at KKR, Gambhir slammed 3035 runs and also guided them to two IPL titles. While he may not be able to guide Delhi to the title this time, but he is more than capable of doing same damage with the bat.

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3 India 3085 114
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2 India 5819 119
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 South Africa 3345 108
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1 Australia 5285 278
2 England 4564 268
3 India 9319 266
4 Pakistan 5470 260
5 South Africa 4380 258
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