Gautam Gambhir on Wednesday stepped down as the captain of Delhi Daredevils (DD) following his team’s poor show in the ongoing IPL. His teammate Shreyas Iyer will now lead the side that had lost six matches on the trot till the announcement was made, and placed at the bottom of the table.
Taking full responsibility of the string of losses suffered by the team, the former Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) captain said “he just was not good enough.”
The announcement was made public during the franchise’s press conference, which was also attended by team’s coach Ricky Ponting and CEO Hemand Dua. Gambhir said, “I have always set very high standards for myself as a player and if I am not able to achieve that, it starts putting doubt in your mind that you have put enough weight to be in the playing eleven and at the same time your team hasn’t performed. So, as the leader of the group you have to take that responsibility.”
However, the left-arm Delhi lad will continue to be a part of the team for the remainder of the eight games and seemed optimistic about reaching the playoff stage. He also said that his successor Iyer “will do a very good job” as the leader of the team.
The 36-year-old said, “The bell started ringing after the last game and it was time to take the call. My own performance has not been upto the mark. May be I was too desperate to turn things around.”
“I was sitting alone and thinking, I couldn’t handle the pressure… I was not good enough and that is all,” Gambhir added.
On being asked about his take on the whole situation, Ricky Ponting said, “Gautam deserves a lot of credit for the way he has handled the situation. It’s really unheard of before in the Indian cricket for a senior player to put his hands up and say I (Gautam Gambhir) don’t feel like I am playing well enough and for the team’s sake I am going to stand down.” The former Aussie skipper reminded that he was in a similar situation and said,“I did it when I was in Mumbai as a player.”
“It may not happen in the Indian cricket or in the IPL to see someone of his stature stepping down. I am proud of what he has done. He has created an opportunity for one of India’s best young players to have a chance to captain his franchise,” Ponting said.
Following the announcement, Gambhir later took to social media and tweeted, “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.”
Meanwhile, Shreyas became the youngest player in the IPL history to lead the Delhi side at the age of 23 years and 142 days. He is also the fourth overall youngest cricketer to captain any IPL team.
The rookie batsman seemed confident about taking the last placed team on winning ways and said, “Well I’m really loving the responsibility they’ve put up on me, also the faith they showed upon me. I love facing challenges as I’ve said in my previous interviews as well. It’s a great opportunity for me to prove myself and also to get the team to the highest level possible.”