The weakness that DD can be said to have is lower-order batting. After Sehwag and Gambhir, there's AB deVilliers and Dilshan, and Karthik has proved to be a great asset too, but not much after that. They haven't really made an effort to rectify this, in fact they've traded Manoj Tiwary for KKR's Moises Henriques, not a very wise move in my opinion. The fourth overseas player after AB, Dilshan and Nannes was earlier a choice between David Warner, Vettori and Maharoof. The pace department being solid, Maharoof can probably be ruled out, especially since another leftie quick, Parnell, has been brought in. Henriques won't be such a great buy, since he basically does the same things as Andrew McDonald, whom DD already has. The memory of Henriques being shown the door to hell by Pollard in the T20 CL is pretty fresh, too.
Their squad is -
Gautam Gambhir (capt), AB de Villiers, Umesh Yadav, Kedar Jadhav, Wayne Parnell, Shashi Ranjan, Ashish Nehra, Mithun Manhas, Andrew McDonald, Farveez Maharoof, Virender Sehwag, Dinesh Karthik, Joginder Singh, Pradeep Sangwan, Amit Mishra, Moises Henriques, Sarandeep Singh, Sarabjit Ladda, Aavishkar Salvi, David Warner, Dirk Nannes, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Rajat Bhatia.
Selection is a facile task, as ten players pick themselves, with the question mark being over who the fourth foreign player is. That is, extra firepower in Warner, or probably the best T20 bowler in Vettori. Both are great fielders. The outsiders for selection would be Maharoof, McDonald and Parnell too, even though they paid decent money for him. My line-up:
Gautam Gambhir (c)
Dinesh Karthik (wk)
As you can see, four fantastic, game-changing batsmen followed by three all-rounders and four bowlers. On flat tracks Vettori would get more games, otherwise it would be Warner. Injury to Sangwan or Nehra would see Salvi getting to play, and Parnell or Maharoof is Nannes' cover. The cover for an Indian batsman is Mithun Manhas, and McDonald/Henriques otherwise.
My Official-sounding prediction for DD this year: Champs. They are seriously a strong team that can afford to bench David Warner and Wayne Parnell. And they didn't use McGrath the entire last season and still topped the league. Gautam Gambhir is a shrewd player and that may show in his captaincy too. DD should be favourites for the third year in a row.
Next up are the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Until then, Dare to Succeed.