Hyderabad: Delhi Daredevils, now rechristened as Delhi Capitals, are coming into the IPL 2019 after some not so memorable performances in the past as they were placed in the bottom half of the points table for six editions in a row. The Capitals were also the bottom-ranked side in four editions, a record they which would like to erase from their memories.
As the battle for 2019 IPL gets closer, the Shreyas Iyer-led side appears strong on all departments unlike in the past and seemed to have found a fine balance with the presence of some impressive young Indian talents as well as some exploitative overseas players.
The most welcome addition is that of Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan who was traded from Sunrisers Hyderabad for Abhishek Sharma, Vijay Shankar and Shahbaz Nadeem. Both Dhawan and teen-sensation Prithvi Shaw looks a formidable opening pair and might become a headache for the opposition bowlers.
The presence of Andhra skipper Hanuma Vihari, Test wicket-keeper and big hitter Rishabh Pant and skipper Iyer in the middle order makes Delhi batting look stronger. New Zealand all-rounder Colin Munro and South Africa’s bowling all-rounder Chris Morris are capable of adding firepower in the lower middle order. In addition to these players, Delhi team have also roped in South Africa’s hard-hitting batsman Colin Ingram (Rs 6.40 crore) and Indian spinner Akshar Patel (Rs 5 crore) by spending big.
The Delhi side also boasts of a powerful bowling line-up which comprises South African speedster Kagiso Rabada, lanky Indian pacer Ishant Sharma and New Zealand’s leading fast bowler Trent Boult. In the spin department, experienced Indian campaigner Amit Mishra, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav along with the likes of Rahul Tewatia (12 wickets in IPL 2018) and Nepalese young sensation Sandeep Lamichhane presents variety.
The Capitals played in all the editions of the IPL but remains the only side to have never qualified for the final. They once topped the points table in 2012 but lost to the second-placed Kolkata Knight Riders in Qualifier 1 and to the winner of the Eliminator Chennai Super Kings.
Looking for a turnaround, the Capitals bought nine players at the auction in Jaipur and have a squad of 24 players, including eight overseas players for IPL 2019. Trained by former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting, Delhi Capitals can fancy their chances if their players live up to the expectations in the 2019 edition of the IPL.
Team: Domestic: Shreyas Iyer (c), Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw, Amit Mishra, Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel, Rahul Tewatia, Jayant Yadav, Shikhar Dhawan, Hanuma Vihari, Axar Patel, Ishant Sharma, Ankush Bains, Nathu Singh, Jalaj Saxena, Bandaru Ayyappa, Manjot Kalra.
Overseas: Colin Munro, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Sandeep Lamichhane, Trent Boult, Colin Ingram, Keemo Paul.
Coach: Ricky Ponting
Key players: Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, Trent Boult.
2010: League stage 5th/8
2011: League stage 10th/10
2012: Playoffs 4th/9
2013: League stage 9th/9
2014: League stage; 8th/8
2015: League stage: 7th/8
2016: League stage: 6th/8
2017: League stage: 6th/8
2018: League stage: 8th/8