Hyderabad: Last year finalists Delhi Capitals suffered a huge blow ahead of the start of the Indian Premier League when their regular captain Shreyas Iyer was sidelined with a dislocated shoulder he suffered during the ODI series against England recently. There is no clarity yet on when he will return to action.
Adding to that, their star all-rounder Axar Patel has tested positive for Covid-19 a couple of days ago. The result means he would be out of action at least for two weeks, missing the first week of action. Youngster Rishabh Pant has been named their skipper and all eyes will be on the wicket-keeper batsman, who from last year had turned into a match-winner and a consistent performer, which he failed to do till last year.
Despite losing Iyer’s services for time being, the team, who had turned their fortunes after changing their name from Delhi Daredevils in 2018, has fire power in all departments to go the distance this time having fallen at the final hurdle against Mumbai Indians last year. Their appearance in the final was their best result so far for them.
This year too, the team promises to put on a good show. With Pant turning into a key player in Indian side after his heroics in Test series Down Under and against England in the recent series, he will be brimming with confidence. Prithvi Shaw, who struggled throughout the last season scoring just 228 runs in 13 matches at a below-par average of 17.53, has been in tremendous form. He created history in the domestic season by amassing 827 runs in the recently-concluded Vijay Hazare tournament. He has scored three 150+ scores, including a double century (227 not out).
Adding to that, Shikhar Dhawan had a good last season finishing second behind KL Rahul in the batting charts with 618 runs. He also became the first cricketer to score back-to-back centuries in IPL last time.
They have a lot of fire power in Shimron Hetmyer and Marnus Stoinis while the addition of former Australian skipper Steve Smith and Sam Billings provide more ammo. In the bowling department too, they have the second highest-wicket taker in IPL in Amit Mishra who has 160 wickets to his name. He is 10 wickets short of leader Lasith Malinga (160).
With all-rounders Axar, R Aswhin taking care of spin department and South African speedsters Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje and new recruit Chris Woakes along with Indian pacers Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav, their pace batter poses a big threat to any batting order. With all bases covered, the team from the capital is very much a title contender this year.
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