In first match since being appointed as Delhi Daredevils captain, he led the side to a 55-run win against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in the capital. And the team composition came under some surprise with former skipper GautamGambhir not part of the playing XI. Gambhir, earlier part of KKR, thus missed a game for the first time since 2010. However, Iyer clarified that the decision to not play Gambhir wasn’t taken by him.
“I didn’t make any call to be honest. It wasn’t my decision to drop him. He himself decided to sit out, which was really courageous decision with him being the captain in the previous matches. The respect for him has gone really high. It’s really [good to] see when a captain, if he’s not playing well, he backs out. Colin [Munro] came in and gave us the desired start,” said Iyer as per Times of India. Gambhir has only scored 85 runs this season from five innings.
Delhi got a good start courtesy Colin Munro and Prithvi Shaw, with the latter scoring his maiden IPL fifty, worth 59 runs – team’s highest this season. Then, Iyer and Glenn Maxwell used the momentum and platform to up the tempo. In his first game as the skipper, Iyer top-scored with a match-winning 93 runs from 40 runs to bring to an end DD’s losing run.
When asked the difference between the two sides on the night, Iyer said DD’s start made a difference. “It’s just that we got a good start. Everyone was aware of what they had to do and contributed really well. It was a team effort. It wasn’t an individual game. Everyone stepped up to the mark and started taking responsibility,” he added.
Gambhir had stepped down as Delhi Daredevils captain on Wednesday after a dismal start which saw the team lose five of six matches played. The announcement was made at a press conference alongside DD CEO HemantDua and coach Ricky Ponting.