New Delhi: Delhi Daredevils on Wednesday named veteran batsman Gautam Gambhir as their captain for the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The 36-year-old top-order batsman returned to the Delhi franchise after a seven-season stint with Kolkata Knight Riders, who won two IPL titles, in 2012 and 2014, under the captaincy of the former India star.
Gambhir asserted that he is looking forward to working with Delhi coach and legendary Australian captain Ricky Ponting.
"It is a huge honour to once again captain Delhi. There are nerves as well as excitement as I return to the side where my IPL career started. To get this responsibility is a way for me to give back to the sport in the city," Gambhir said at a press conference.
"I firmly believe that with the players currently involved we have the makings of a very good side. The potential of this group of players is immense and if we play to our potential, we can go all the way. It is now up to us to turn that potential into consistent performances," the former India opener added.
"It is also going to be great to work in unison with Ricky, an absolute champion himself."
Delhi have not made the play-offs in the last five editions and having handed the captaincy to Gambhir, who won twice with KKR, the expectations are high.
"One man can't change anything. As a captain, you can lead the way with your performance but the whole team members have to perform. I believe a captain is as good as his team. The captain can set the right environment for everybody to perform.
"Moreover, even if we won twice with KKR, but in 2018, expectations would have been similar if I was in Kolkata. Pressure of expectations is there everywhere."
Gambhir also said that he and the franchise are on the same page on the matter of squad composition. "Before the auctions, (CEO) Hemant (Dua) and me shared the inputs on which players to go for (at the auctions)."
Congratulating Gambhir on his appointment, Ponting hoped that the left-hander will have a successful stint with the Delhi team.
"Gauti has been a leader for a very long time. He has always proven himself to be one of the top leaders during his stint with other sides in the IPL. He has a big personality, but it is the drive behind the outward confidence which I think will inspire the rest of the team," Ponting said.
"He has the respect of the dressing room and the franchise is proud to have him as our captain. I would like to congratulate him on the appointment and wish him all the very best," the former Australia captain added.