New Delhi, May 9: James Hopes, who takes over as the captain from Virender Sehwag for the remainder of Delhi Daredevils’ matches in the Indian Premier League-4, is looking forward to his new responsibility. Sehwag has been ruled of the rest of the IPL-4 as he will undergo a surgery on his injured shoulder.
One of the handful of Daredevils in form, he feels the remaining three matches in the league is an opportunity for youngsters to make a name for themselves.
“Viru (Virender Sehwag) is one of the best players in the world. There is no doubt we will miss him. It is really unfortunate that he will not be able to lead us for the remaining matches. We wish him a speedy recovery,” he said.
“We also have a bunch of young players raring to go. Three more league matches is an opportunity to make a name for yourself,” added Hopes, who is the current captain of Queensland, Australia. “I am looking forward to the next three games and we are going to give it our best,” he said.
The 32-year-old Hopes, one of the most experienced members of the Daredevils, has played 84 one-dayers and 12 Twenty20 matches for Australia. He has picked 67 wickets in 84 ODIs and scored 1326 runs. Hopes narrowly missed out on making the 2011 World Cup team. Hopes, a shrewd reader of the game, took over as the skipper of Queensland in September 2010. In March 2011, the all-rounder was also named the Sheffield Shield player of the season.
While Sehwag has the most runs in the current IPL at 424 runs, Hopes has the best average among Daredevils of 60.33. Hopes has stood out as a player, who has steered the team to the shore in difficult times. He has 181 runs, including two fifties, in six innings and remained not out three times.
A good and brisk pace bowler, Hopes has also made a useful contribution with the ball, taking seven wickets, the same as Irfan Pathan and Ajit Agarkar. Only Morne Morkel with 12 wickets has more victims.
Last month, Hopes’ father was diagnosed with cancer, but after speaking with him, he decided to stay on. “My Dad asked me stay on and play the full IPL and be with my team through and through,” he said. “There was never any question of my going back to Australia to be with him. I have been speaking to my Dad and family after I got to know on Wednesday. He (Dad) laughed and said, ‘I will kill you if you come back. I want you to play and do well.’ “
Hopes, who confessed to loving Indian curries, has visited India on three Tours with the Australian Team in 2007, 2009 and 2010. He also played for Kings XI Punjab in the IPL in 2010. “It is fun playing in India. It never gets boring,” added Hopes.