Hyderabad: Delhi Capitals are the side that showed a lot of promise in the previous season before falling in the playoffs. The team, rechristened in 2018 from Delhi Daredevils for change of fortunes, did put up impressive show. Having reached back-to-back semifinals in the first two seasons of the league, the Delhi side never came close again. After a string of poor finishes in six seasons, they managed to enter the playoffs only last year.
However, the new season offers them another chance to put an end to their poor history. The team management assembled a team that is a mix of youth and experience. They sacrificed all-rounder Vijay Shankar, Abhishek Sharma and Shahbaz Nadeem to bring back their local star Shikhar Dhawan from Sunrisers Hyderabad before last season and it paid dividends immediately as he top-scored for his side with 521 runs. The DC had roped in Jason Roy, Chris Woakes, Alex Carey, Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis. However, Woakes and Roy withdrew with injury concerns. They have also brought in Ravichandran Ashwin from Kings XI Punjab and Ajinkya Rahane from Rajasthan Royals which makes their side a strong unit in both bowling and batting units.
With experienced Dhawan and talented Prithvi Shaw, they have a good opening pair to be followed by captain Shriyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant and Rahane who can be trusted in giving the solidarity in the middle. The likes of Hetmyer, Stoinis and Carey can provide required fireworks in the batting order. After being given the captaincy, Iyer had a decent outing scoring 463 runs. Pant was sensational in the season amassing 488 runs. But he lost his touch of late with Team India that paved the way for KL Rahul as wicketkeeper-batsman in the white-ball cricket. Pant’s form, however, is crucial given his ability to change the complexion of the game.
South African speedster Kagiso Rabada will spearhead the bowling unit but it is Ishant Shamra who has to take the responsibility given his experience. Rabada was the top performer for them picking up 25 wickets to finish at second place next to Chennai Super Kings’ Imran Tahir (26). With Mohit Sharma, Harshan Patel, they have good depth in the pace unit. But barring Rabada, the others fail to hit high speeds consistently to pose greater challenges to the batsmen.
With the tournament being played in UAE, spinners are set to play a crucial role and the Capitals boast of one of the strong spin bowling departments. In Indian international R Ashwin, veteran Amit Mishra to the likes of Axar Patel and Sandeep Lamichhane, the options are plenty for Iyer at his disposal.
In Australia’s multiple World Cup-winning captain Ricky Ponting as their head coach, Capitals have a strong support staff. The only problem with young talent is inconsistency. Prithvi Shaw, Iyer, and Pant need to come up with consistent performances if they have to end their title drought.
Domestic: Shreyas Iyer (captain), Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Lalit Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Amit Mishra, Axar Patel, R Ashwin, Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel, Ishant Sharma, Mohit Sharma, Tushar Deshpande,
Foreign: Shimron Hetmyer, Daniel Sams, Marcus Stoinis, Daniel Sams, Keemo Paul, Alex Carey, Sandeep Lamichhane, Kagiso Rabada, Chris Woakes, Anrich Nortje
Key players: Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Kagiso Rabada
Coach: Ricky Ponting