AB de Villiers will find it difficult getting back into the Delhi Daredevils first XI now that Paul Collingwood has joined the team after completing his international commitments with England.
The England Twenty20 captain brings with him his all-round ability and, like De Villiers, is an outstanding fielder. He made an immediate impact scoring 53 in his first game on Monday night against the Kolkata Knight Riders at Freoz Shah Kotla Stadium.
The South African had been in the Delhi first XI since the beginning of the tournament but did not make full use of his opportunities and was dropped for Monday night’s game.
De Villiers’s only major contribution for the Daredevils was a 45 against the Royals Challengers Bangalore and in seven visits to the crease, he has accumulated only 107 runs at 17.83 and a strike-rate of 95.53.
With only four foreigners allowed in the starting line-up of each team, De Villiers may have to put up with carrying the drinks for the remainder of the competition.
Meanwhil, another South African, Jean-Paul Duminy, who was bought at the 2009 auction by the Mumbai Indians for $950 000 and who is the highest-paid Proteas player in the IPL, has been kicking his heels on the sidelines.
Duminy arrived here with an injured hand and recovered after a week. But by that time the Mumbai Indians had found a settled side that included their four internationals in Sanath Jayasuriya, who has subsequently been dropped, Dwayne Bravo, Ryan McLaren and Lasith Malinga.
Kieron Pollard, who cost the Mumbai Indians $750 000 at the 2010 auction, was drafted into the side the moment he arrived from the West Indies and has made an immediate impact.
Duminy, like De Villiers, will probably sit out for a long time or may not get game-time going into the ICC World T20 in the Caribbean at the end of April.
Other South Africans sitting out on the fringes are Yusuf Abdulla, who played only two games for the struggling Kings XI Punjab, Makhaya Ntini, who has not played a game yet for the Chennai Super kings, Justin Kemp, also on the Super Kings books but who is injured, Morne Morkel, who is with the Rajasthan Royals, Dillon du Preez and Roeloef van der Merwe, both with the Royals Challengers Bangalore.
Meanwhile, changing a winning combination proved to be their undoing as the Kolkata Knight Riders crashed to a 40-run defeat at the hands of a resurgent Delhi Daredevils in the DL Indian Premier League at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on Monday night.
It was the Daredevils’ first win at home this season after successive losses to the Mumbai Indians and the Chennai Super Kings and a richly deserved one as they played a better brand of Twenty-20 cricket as opposed to the disjointed effort from the Knight Riders, who slumped further down the table.
The Daredevils have moved up to joint second place.
Source: IOL.co.za – March 30 2010 / IQBAL KHAN