Delhi Capitals is the only team in the IPL which hasn’t played the IPL finals till date. However, they did qualify for the playoffs last season under the able leadership of Shreyas Iyer.
Delhi Capitals earlier known as Delhi Daredevils had a balanced side. Initially, they had a lot of talented players whom they let go, the likes of Gautam Gambhir, Virendra Sehwag, David Warner, Shikhar Dhawan, AB de Villiers, etc. The list is endless. But, later the squad was never balanced and their batting power diminished as well. However, this year, Delhi Capitals probably has the best side on paper. They can even play with playing XI consisting of only Indians and that is their strength. With this squad, Ricky Ponting would not expect anything less than qualifying for the playoffs. Let’s have a look at their complete squad.
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The team with the guidance of their head coach Ricky Ponting is hoping to do well this year. Their prime strength is their batting. Shikhar and Prithvi
Shaw can definitely maximize the score in the powerplay knowing the fact that they have Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant and Hetmyer to come next. The team management retained their core members in the IPL auction this year and got some power hitters in Jason Roy, Hetmyer and Alex Carey. However, Jason Roy will be missing the IPL this year. Moreover, they got this young talent named Lalit Yadav from Maharashtra who bowls quick and can also launch some big hits. However, in the practice session, he seemed to struggle against the pacers. DC will have an eye on him as he can be a handy option for number 5 or 6 where the side has a weakness.
Here is their squad:
Shreyas Iyer, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, Jason Roy, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra, Avesh Khan, Sandeep Lamichhane, Kagiso Rabada, Keemo Paul, Mohit Sharma, Lalit Yadav, Axar Patel, Harshal Patel, R Ashwin, Marcus Stoinis, Chris Woakes, Rishabh Pant, Alex Carey, Shimron Hetmyer, Tushar Deshpande.
As mentioned earlier, Delhi Capitals have a great batting line-up. However, they do have some loopholes as we move lower down the order. At the moment, DC’s most anticipated player is Rishabh Pant and his batting role in the team is definitely finishing off the innings on a high note. He might bat at number 5 but I feel he’ll bat at number 4 followed by Hetmyer. Hetmyer might not bat the same way he does up the order as he usually struggles against the spinners at times. Hence, they don’t have a proper No. 5 and 6.
They also have an option of getting Rahane at number 3 but then there is a confusion at no. 6. Alex Carey is an option. But, they might need an extra bowling option because no one bowls in top 6. Because anyone in the bowling department can have a bad day, you need an extra option for that day. Hence, Rahane might not find a place in the starting XI but you’ll definitely see him opening the innings at some stage in the tournament.
The team might find the extra bowling option in Marcus Stoinis. Also Keemo Paul is an alternative who is a decent batsman as well.
Anrich Nortje replaced Chris Woakes in the side as he won’t be available in the IPL this year. Losing Woakes won’t affect the side that much as long as they get Nortje because they have plenty of good all-rounders in their squad already to replace him. Nortje will be a great overseas back- up for the team. Kagiso Rabada will be their frontline bowler. He’ll be the go-to bowler for Iyer.
However, last IPL was not that great for him. Spin bowling isn’t a concern for the team. They have the best spinner in IPL history (Amit Mishra). Moreover, Sandeep Lamichhane can chip in through as well. As we know, the surfaces in UAE will favour the spinners as the tournament progresses.
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There are decent options for the team in this section as well. Axar Patel with his left arm off-spin will be benefitted by the wickets in UAE. Moreover, Stoinis could be their number 6. Another interesting option is Daniel Sams who will be replacing Jason Roy in the team. He had a fantastic season in the BBL. His ability to bowl the slower balls which he uses as a variation with the new ball will be an important aspect. As mentioned earlier, the tracks will be overused and thus will get slow as the tournament progresses. Hence, slower balls will be the lethal weapon for the bowlers.
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As of now, the only concern for the side is the dilemma for number six because you need someone at that position who has the experience of
finishing games. Alex Carey is definitely a good batsman but is not an experienced finisher. He’s still young.
Overall, they look lethal as a combined team. If the openers fire and the middle order doesn’t collapse, they will surely do well in the tournament. It’s just that they need one from the top four to survive till the end to support the finisher. Shikhar Dhawan is the leading run-scorer in their squad. He’ll have a crucial role to play. In fact, DC’s performance will be determined on the basis of his form at some stage.
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PROBABLE PLAYING XI:
Shikhar Dhawan/ Ajinkya Rahane, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis/ Sandeep Lamichhane, Daniel Sams, Kagiso Rabada, R Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma/Mohit Sharma