Delhi Daredevils skipper Shreyas Iyer says his respect for Gautam Gambir has increased manifold after he took the “courageous” decision to relinquish captaincy and sit out of the IPL game against Kolkata Knight Riders.

Iyer produced a blistering knock of 93 in Daredevils’ 55-run rout of KKR at the Feroz Shah Kotla last night, as the hosts snapped their three-match losing streak to mathematically remain in contention for play-offs.

Asked if it was hard for him to drop Gambhir, Iyer clarified that it was not the newly-appointed captain’s decision.

“I didn’t make any call to be honest. It wasn’t my decision to drop him. He himself decided to sit out, which was really courageous decision with him being the captain in the previous matches. The respect for him has gone really high. It’s really good to see when a captain, if he’s not playing well, he backs out,” Iyer said.

The Daredevils were in complete control of the game from the beginning, and looked a transformed side.

Asked how the turnaround happened, Iyer said the good start was a huge factor.

Gambhir’s replacement, New Zealand batsman Colin Munro provided a fiery start along with Prithvi Shaw, as they added 59 for the opening wicket.

“Colin came in and gave us the desired start. Everyone was aware of what they had to do and contributed really well. It was a team effort. It wasn’t an individual game. Everyone stepped up to the mark and started taking responsibility,” he said.

Meanwhile, KKR captain Dinesh Karthik said it was disappointing that they fared poorly in all three departments of the game.

Iyer plundered 29 runs in the last over, belting Shivam Mavi for four sixes and a four. Specifically queried about his decision to ask young Mavi to bowl the last over, Karthik defended the move.

“He is a fast bowler, he has done a good job. Who would have bowled that last over? You have to back your fast bowlers. He is being someone who has been practising bowling at death overs and executed in practice.

“You need to show faith and that is how he will grow as a cricketer. We don’t need to protect him at this stage, even if he gets hit, it’s a learning experience for him,” he said.

“I am sure he will come back a better bowler next time.”