Bangalore, May 26: After a successful stint in the league stages, a few tactical blunders knocked Delhi Daredevils out of IPL 5, as Virender Sehwag's XI gifted Chennai Super Kings a berth in the IPL 5. Though the team performed very well this season, a few errors in the team selection cost them a chance to qualify for the final, as they had to be content with the third place.
After languishing at the bottom in the fourth edition of IPL, Delhi Daredevils ensured that they play a balanced unit in IPL 5, and bought players accordingly in the auction as the star-studded batting line-up threatened other teams as they were on a high after winning 11 matches off the 16 league matches.
Termed favourites to win the IPL title at the start of the tournament, Delhi qualified for the play-offs with ease after securing 22 points from the league. But failed to perform when it actually mattered as Delhi's star studded batting line-up failed twice (against Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings) to abruptly end their IPL campaign.
Chasing 223 to win in the second qualifier, Delhi lost a couple of wickets at the start of the innings to eventually gift Chennai another IPL final berth and landed up finishing third, to qualify for the Champions League T20.
This season was definitely a positive one for Delhi Daredevils as they came back strongly, after their disappointing campaign in 2011. Credit goes to the South African pacer Morne Morkel who has been the highest wicket taker in the tournament with 25 wickets off 16 matches at a strike rate of 15.1.
With 4/20 being his best, Morkel has been the most devastating bowlers in the IPL as batsmen have struggled to face him. Apart from Morkel, Umesh Yadav was impressive, as he grabbed 19 wickets off 17 matches, with 3/19 being his best.
While Shahbaz Nadeem, Irfan Pathan and others performed in patches, only Morkel and Yadav were consistent.
Delhi's batting wholly depended on a few players as it was Kevin Pietersen at the start of the season, who scored 305 runs off 8 matches with an average of 61 at an amazing strike rate of 147.34, single-handedly won matches for Delhi during the first half of the tournament.
After he left for England on May 2, 2012, Delhi witnessed a couple of losses as they had not lost any apart from the one against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Bangalore on Apr 7, 2012.
Apart from Pietersen, Mahela Jayawardene, Virender Sehwag, David Warner did play a vital role in the team's success but couldn't match the English cricketer.
While Delhi's all-rounder Ross Taylor failed to create an impression this season as he collected only 197 runs off 12 outings while he just one half century in IPL 5. Delhi could have entered the final, provided Kiwi batsman had scored some runs.
Morne Morkel - The South African has claimed 25 wickets this season, off 16 matches, became the highest wicket taker in IPL 5 and for his team Delhi Daredevils and also to own the purple cap.
Umesh Yadav - The youngster grabbed 19 scalps in 17 matches to become the second highest wicket-taker for Daredevils
Varun Aaron - The youngster though did not create an impact, claimed 8 wickets off wickets off 8 matches, performed in patches.
Virender Sehwag - With 495 runs off 16 outings, has been the highest run scorer for Delhi Daredevils.
Mahela Jayawardene - The Sri Lankan cricketer has collected 335 runs off 16 matches with a highest score of 56*, and three half centuries to his credit in the fifth edition of IPL.
Kevin Pietersen - Created a huge impact during the start of the season, as he was back after a Test series against Sri Lanka, and his famous controversial shot - switch-hit took many by surprise, as he had mastered the shot to perfection. Single-handedly won the matches for Delhi Daredevils as his absence was felt after he left to England on May 2, 2012. With 305 runs off 8 innings, he gave Dlehi a blazing start with an amazing strike rate of 147.34.
David Warner - Joined the side after Pietersen's exit, the Aussie batsman failed to create an impact as he failed on two important occasions which cost the team a chance to qualify for their maiden final. He scored 256 runs off 8 matches.
Though these performances narrate their journey to the play-offs, a few bad decisions during the play-offs, knocked Delhi out of IPL 5, as they lost yet another opportunity to qualify for the final after 2009.