South Africa’s middle order batsman Jean-Paul Duminy has been named as the Captain of Indian Premier League franchise Delhi Daredevils for this year.
The team were led by Englishman Kevin Pietersen last year, but the franchise released him as part of an overhaul which saw them offload 13 players from their 2014 squad.
Duminy was one of the few survivors and was preferred as the leader over star Indian allrounder Yuvraj Singh and Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews.
Yuvraj became the most expensive buy of the auction after Daredevils spent Rs 16 crore (approximately $2.67 million). A proven match-winner with a modest captaincy record in the IPL, Yuvraj was seen as the favourite to take over the captaincy but the management felt differently.
Hemant Dua, the Daredevils chief executive said that Duminy was the “right choice” as he is a “composed individual and well respected by his teammates and peers.”
Duminy has always expressed a strong desire to lead a team but does not have much experience in the role except for leading South Africa in the three-match Twenty20 series against Australia last year when Faf du Plessis was rested.
According to Dua what worked in Duminy’s favour was the familiarity with the team and a good relationship with Daredevils’ head coach Gary Kirsten. Duminy has been an integral part of Kirsten’s strategy plan for South Africa. It was Kirsten, during his stint as the South Africa coach, who recalled Duminy to replace the injured Mark Boucher during the 2012 England tour. Kirsten has always believed Duminy has the attidue to be both a leader and a match-winner.
Duminy started to understand his potential with Kirsten’s guidance. People who have followed South African cricket closely point out Duminy has been part of South African leadership group for a long time now. A popular guy among his teammates, Duminy took over as the president of the influential South African Players’ Association.
“JP is the right choice to lead the team for the upcoming season,” Kirsten said in a media release. “He has the necessary experience and demeanour to take the team forward. I have seen him progress and mature as a player and leader through the years with the South African national team.”