Having finished at the bottom of the table in the 2018 season of the IPL, the franchise from Delhi has made some radical changes for the upcoming season of the IPL.
For starters, the name of the team has changed from Delhi Daredevils to Delhi Capitals. The reign of captaincy has shifted from the experienced Gautam Gambhir to the young Shreyas Iyer. Though Iyer led Delhi Capitals in a few games last season once Gambhir relinquished captaincy, leading the Delhi franchise for a full season will be an opportunity for Iyer to showcase his leadership skills.
The team from Delhi is the only team amongst the remaining 7 teams who are participating in this year's IPL to never have made it to the finals of the IPL. The last six seasons have been disastrous for the franchise from Delhi. They languished at the bottom of the table in the years 2013, 2014 and 2018 and finished 6th in 2016, 2017 and 7th in the year 2015.
However, this time around, the team from Delhi seems to be a well-balanced one with coach Ricky Ponting and could be considered as one of the underdogs for the 2019 IPL season.
Here is a look as to why the Delhi Capitals will be the dark horses in the 2019 IPL
#1 Strong batting line up comprising of young Indian players:
The main strength of the Delhi Capitals is the presence of young Indian batsmen in the top order.
To begin with, the Delhi Capitals made a wise move by picking up Shikhar Dhawan in the auction this year. The left-handed opening batsman from Delhi has been a consistent performer in the last three seasons of the IPL i.e. in the years 2016, 2017 and 2018 and has scored 501, 479 and 497 runs in the said seasons. Dhawan is an experienced player at the top of the order and has scored 4057 runs in 142 IPL innings.
Prithvi Shaw, who had an impressive start to his international career in the 2 match Test series against West Indies will be looking to impress one and all with his batting in the IPL. Though the opener from Mumbai has played only 9 IPL games, he has 2 half-centuries to his credit and scores runs at a strike rate of 153.12. The 2019 IPL is a perfect platform for Shaw to score big runs and make a case for himself in the Indian team in white ball cricket.
21-year-old Rishabh Pant has proved himself as a wicket-keeper batsman at the Test level and has already scored a Test century in England and Australia. But he has not been able to establish his place in the Indian ODI and T20 team till date. He has been in and out of the Indian limited overs side and the 2019 IPL may determine whether Pant will be on the flight to England for the 2019 World Cup. The 21-year-old Pant has scored 1248 IPL runs at an impressive average of 35.66 and a more impressive strike rate of 162.71 with 8 half centuries and 1 century.
The captain of Delhi Capitals has a point to prove to the national selectors. After being overlooked from the national team, Shreyas Iyer expressed his disappointment. The 24-year-old batsman from Mumbai will look to lead his side from the front and score runs too. Iyer will look to improve his average of 30.45 in 46 innings by scoring big runs this IPL.
Hanuma Vihari is another young Indian batsman who is finding his feet in international cricket. Vihari was impressive in 4 Test matches he played for India and will look to justify his selection for Delhi Capitals. Till date, Vihari has played just 22 IPL games but has failed to set the stage on fire. However, with the experience of playing Test cricket overseas, Vihari will be a far better player and his role to stabilize the innings will be vital for the success of Delhi Capitals.
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