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Delhi Capitals: Did the lack of a consistent third seamer hurt the first-time IPL 2020 finalists?

The Delhi Capitals
The Delhi Capitals
Satyam Jha
Modified 16 Nov 2020, 21:20 IST
Top 5 / Top 10

The Delhi Capitals had a dream run in the recently concluded IPL 2020, where they finished as runners-up after losing to the Mumbai Indians in the final. There has been a rise in the Delhi side's performances in the last two years. The side finished in 3rd place in 2019 and bettered their performance in 2020 by entering the finals for the first time in the team's history.

The Delhi Capitals had a lot of positives throughout the tournament and played very good cricket in the first half of the tournament. Whether it was winning close games, strong batting performances or some quality bowling from their pace and spin bowlers alike, Delhi had all their bases covered and looked like a good side.

However, one major setback for the side turned out to be the lack of a consistent 3rd seamer to support the quartet of Rabada, Nortje, Ashwin, and Axar Patel.

The Delhi Capitals had a good bowling lineup in IPL 2020

The Delhi Capitals possessed one of the strongest bowling line-ups amongst all the teams in IPL 2020. The South African pace duo of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje wreaked havoc against the opposition with their speed and accuracy.

Along with with the side's pacers, the spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel proved to be exceptional with their guile and ability to pick up wickets consistently. However, the Shreyas Iyer led franchise struggled with their third seamer and could not decide on who would be their 5th bowler.

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.

Though each of the 6 individuals had some decent matches with the ball, they were not able to keep a lid on the opposition scoring rate. This ultimately resulted in the opposition often scoring big totals.

The Delhi Capitals had high hopes for Daniel Sams, who had an outstanding season in the Big Bash League. Unfortunately, the player failed to pick up any wickets for his IPL side. Even young Tushar Deshpande showed glimpses of brilliance but couldn’t deliver strong performances regularly for the side.

In pursuit of strengthening the bowling department, skipper Shreyas Iyer even sacrificed a batsman. He dropped Shimron Hetmyer to make way for Daniel Sams but that strategy failed to pay off.

The Delhi Capitals
The Delhi Capitals' head coach Ricky Ponting

Even though Marcus Stoinis bowled well with variations of speed and length, the Delhi skipper didn’t show enough confidence to use the Australian all-rounder as a genuine 5th bowler.

With Delhi already struggling to find a 5th bowler in their line-up, the Trent Boult onslaught in the play-offs and the final hurt them even more. The side were left to rue the decision of trading the Kiwi pacer before the start of the season.

Head coach Ricky Ponting will look to address the team's only major visible setback regarding a third quality seamer ahead of the next edition of the T20 tournament.

Published 16 Nov 2020, 21:20 IST
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