CHENNAI: After their downcast biddings in the IPL auctions, Delhi Daredevils’ fate was more or less suffixed with humiliation. If at all they harboured any slender hope of reaching the semifinals, Virender Sehwag’s shoulder injury, curtained it. “Viru will be a huge loss for us as he holds the Orange Cap. He fired in each of our matches we won. He will be missed as a captain as well,” observed coach Greg Shipperd.

Stand-in skipper James Hopes has enough soul searching to be pre-occupied. But Shipperd back him to settle soon, “Hopes is an experienced campaigner and behind the scenes we do not have a captain but we have a range of people who have been given leadership opportunities in making sure that we move as a squad. His determination and abilities could help us finish the tournament as high as we can.” Out of semifinal equation, Shipperd believes the players would take this opportunity to prove themselves. “Next three games are very important from the franchise point of view to establish which players would be committed to and which player will get the opportunity. There are a number of players who have been given chances but have not come forward. Mostly, they have been reactive but we want them to be proactive,” he urged. But they are beset with the onerous ask of derailing a side invincible at home.

“It is a very tough. We know they have got some special skills in all three departments of the game. Michael Hussey and Vijay have provided them with good starts. So it is important for us to bowl well in the first six overs,” he admitted. Compounding their woes, David Warner and high-profile signing Irfan Pathan have under-fired. “Pathan will be promoted in the next games so that he gets a chance of setting up a big score. Warner started well but drifted off in the last five outings. But he is sure to come good soon,” he averred.

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