Delhi Bulls ready to fight for Abu Dhabi T10 title
Delhi Bulls team mentor Anis Sajan and head coach Stephen Fleming at the Abu Dhabi T10 draft. (Supplied photo)
Abu Dhabi - Sajan said Delhi Bulls, led by captain Eoin Morgan, were ready to lock horns with anyone
Delhi Bulls retained core names and brought a right mix of young and experienced players at the Abu Dhabi T10 players' draft on Wednesday night.
Anis Sajan, the team mentor of Delhi Bulls, was highly satisfied at the end of the five-hour marathon rounds of drafts.
Sajan said Delhi Bulls, led by captain Eoin Morgan, were ready to lock horns with anyone.
After a third-place finish in the previous edition of T10, Sajan termed Abu Dhabi as a 'new challenge' where team bonding was key to title dreams.
The team composition followed coach Stephen Fleming's policy of sticking to the tried and tested players - a practice implemented successfully at Chennai Super Kings, the iconic India Premier League team.
"We have six players - Zaheer Khan, Mohammad Nabi, Sherfane Rutherford, Aamer Yamin, Ali Khan and Muhammad Usman - who played for us last season. We have followed CSK formula of Stephen and his belief in retaining players. It helps in the bonding and synergy. You don't need to teach them about the requirements," Sajan, the managing director, Danube Group, told Khaleej Times.
The Delhi Bulls management were flexible with their drafting and had backup plans for each rounds.
Even as they missed out on lanky Pakistani pacer Mohammad Irfan, they managed to get left-arm quick Sohail Tanvir.
"We cannot complain. We were spoilt for choice with the number of players available in the draft. But you can't always get what you want. Importantly you need to have backup plan. There were a couple of instances when we didn't get a first choice player, but we can't complain as we got another valuable one," Sajan said.
Delhi Bulls opted for five pacers - Zaheer Khan, Sohail Tanvir, Ali Khan, Aamer Yamin and Mohammed Hasnain - and leg spinner Adil Rashid and off spinner Mohammad Nabi.
Among the top pick was Shoaib Malik.
"We went for specialists in every role. We wanted a specialist leggie and got Adil, who has played for our captain Morgan, which is an added advantage. Then we have Paul Stirling, who again has played with Morgan in the first edition. We have Kusal Perera who bats like Sanath Jayasuriya. Rutherford was the find of the tournament last year.
"Hasnain is an exciting prospect who clocks 150kph and picked up a hat trick in the recent T20 series against Sri Lanka. Aamer has been with us for three years. Usman is a talented UAE player, who did really well in his role as opener last year with two quick fire 40s. Tobias Visee is a very useful wicketkeeper-batsman from the Netherlands.
"Ali is a young fast bowler from the US. Overall with the experience of Shoaib Malik there is lot of balance in the team," said Sajan.
"We will make the best out of what we have," he added.