Delhi are enjoying one of their best Indian T20 League seasons so far and are sitting pretty towards the top of the standings. That said, it must be noted that the side from the national capital hasn’t always been in such a position of strength. Delhi, in fact, have more often than not struggled to produce their best in the Indian T20 League and here we have a look at five players who they perhaps shouldn’t have released before they went on to realise their full potential.
The current Hyderabad skipper began his Indian T20 League journey with Delhi in 2009 and was with them till 2013 before being released. An explosive batsman who likes to go hard at bowlers from the outset, Warner is tailor-made for T20 cricket but couldn’t reach the heights expected of him during his stint with the franchise. However, after joining Hyderabad in 2014, the left-hander came into his own and has managed to consistently produce his best, helping his new team to their only Indian T20 League title to date in 2016 as well as himself to three Orange Caps – the most by a batsman in the league history.
AB de Villiers
The South African legend, fondly known as Mr. 360 thanks to his ability to score runs in all areas, was with Delhi for three seasons from 2008 to 2010. In fairness to Delhi, though, AB de Villiers failed to deliver in two of the three seasons he was with them. That was enough to convince Delhi’s management to release de Villiers in a move they must be regretting since. The former Proteas skipper joined Bangalore in the fourth season and has gone on to produce innumerable spectacular knocks for them, including an unforgettable unbeaten 133 against Mumbai in 2015.
Dinesh Karthik has been somewhat of a journeyman in the Indian T20 League having represented the likes of Punjab, Mumbai, Bangalore, Gujarat and now Kolkata. However, the only franchise that he’s joined on two separate occasions was Delhi. His first spell with them was from 2008 to 2010 and his second was in 2014. Of his two tenures with Delhi, Karthik’s first was undoubtedly more successful with two semi-final appearances to show for it, while his second ended in an eight-place finish. Currently the skipper of Kolkata, Karthik’s presence in the Delhi team could have made for a more assured presence behind stumps than they have now as well as a dependable batting option in the middle order.
One of the most devastating all-rounders in the shortest format of the game, Andre Russell joined Delhi in 2012 and spent two seasons with them before being released following below-par displays with both and ball. In hindsight, it turned out to be a big mistake as Kolkata roped in the hard-hitting all-rounder from the Caribbean and oversaw his transformation into one of the most feared batsmen in T20 cricket. Unlike Delhi, Russell has lifted the Indian T20 League with Kolkata and is a nightmare for any bowler to deal with in the 20-over game.
Glenn Maxwell’s solitary season with Delhi was in 2018 and it’s safe to say that the explosive Australian was far from his best for them. Roped in on the basis of his hard-hitting and game-changing reputation, Maxwell endured a rather disappointing campaign along with the rest of the franchise. He managed to score just 169 runs from 12 matches at an average of 14.08 and a strike rate of 140.83. His performance with the ball wasn’t great for Delhi either with him accounting for just five wickets and going at an economy of 8.25.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Raveendra, Saeed Khan