Delhi Capitals are one of the few sides in the history of the Indian Premier League to have not won the tournament yet. The franchise underwent a complete revamp a couple of years ago and it has been reflected in their improved performances in the last 2 editions of the tournament.
Apart from the change in leadership due to the unfortunate injury to skipper Shreyas Iyer, the Delhi Capitals look like a complete team.
Let's look at three reasons why the Delhi Capitals side are strong contenders to win their maiden T20 tournament in the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League.
#1 A balanced batting line-up
For the last couple of years, Delhi Capitals have looked like a settled batting unit with a perfect blend of experience and youth in their ranks. The addition of Australia’s Steve Smith will only bolster the batting further. Despite Smith not having a great season last year with his former franchise, the experience and quality he brings to the table can come in handy for the Capitals.
Even though Prithvi Shaw had a torrid time in Australia, he seems to have worked on his technical flaws along with batting coach Praveen Amre. His performance in the Vijay Hazare Trophy showed signs of a man who is finally living up to his potential. Shaw scored the maximum number of runs ever scored in a single edition of the tournament
Add to this the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant and Marcus Stoinis, and the Delhi Capitals’ batting rounds up as an extremely formidable unit.
#2 Acquisition of quality bowlers to strengthen the 3rd seamer slot
In the previous edition of the IPL, the Delhi Capitals possessed a quality bowling quartet in the form of pacers Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje alongside spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel. However, the problematic area for the side was the lack of a consistent 3rd seamer to fill the 5th bowler slot.
The Delhi Capitals played as many as 6 bowlers (Mohit Sharma, Avesh Khan, Ishant Sharma, Harshal Patel, Tushar Deshpande, and Daniel Sams) in different games in the pursuit of a strong option for a third seamer. This inconsistency was specifically targeted by the opposition and turned out to be a worrying factor for the Delhi Capitals.
Though Woakes and Curran might have to wait for their chance, the experienced Umesh Yadav could be the perfect choice to complement the duo of Rabada-Nortje.
#3 Captain with an X-Factor for the Delhi Capitals
Captain Shreyas Iyer’s injury is an unfortunate blow for the Delhi Capitals. With Iyer set to be on the sidelines, young Rishabh Pant has been primed for the top job. His appointment as the Delhi Capitals captain has been met with mixed reactions from some experts about over-burdening the youngster with added responsibility.
However, the wicketkeeper-batsman has shown the world what he is capable of and has risen to the occasion every time the Indian side have needed him of late and may well be able to exceed expectations with Delhi as well.
In recent times, Pant has not only worked on his fitness but shown immense maturity in terms of game awareness and playing according to the situation. Rishabh will look to channel the momentum of his batting form into his captaincy as well.
Pant will also have Ricky Ponting to turn to for advice from the dugout and it will be exciting to see the duo combine to help Delhi lift the ultimate prize in the 2021 edition.