IPL 2019: Delhi Capitals mid-season analysis
A brutal 78 not-out from Rishabh Pant saw them win their first match against Mumbai Indians, which also saw Shikhar Dhawan and Colin Ingram get runs and wickets from Ishant Sharma and Kagiso Rabada. A loss to Chennai Super Kings on a sluggish pitch followed, in which only Shikhar Dhawan managed to put a respectable score.
The next match saw them win n a Super Over against Kolkata Knight Riders in a match best remembered for Prithvi Shaw's 99 and a searing yorker from Kagiso Rabada that uprooted Andre Russell's middle stump in the Super Over. A chaotic loss against Kings XI Punjab followed in which the Capitals went from 144/3 to 152 all out in a chase of 167.
A poor batting performance led to a five-wicket loss to Sunrisers Hyderabad before a half-century from Shreyas Iyer and four wicket-haul from Kagiso Rabada saw them win against Royal Challengers Bangalore. In their first return fixture, a half-century from Shikhar Dhawan and a knock of 46 from Rishabh Pant saw them comfortably win against Kolkata Knight Riders.
Shikhar Dhawan (249 runs), Rishabh Pant (222 runs), and Shreyas Iyer (221 runs) have led their batting so far. Prithvi Shaw and Colin Ingram are the only other batsmen to manage over 100 runs with 183 and 138 runs respectively. Notably, all these batsmen bat in the top five, indicating a solid batting core that will increase in value as the tournament progresses.
Kagiso Rabada leads the bowling so far with 13 wickets to his name, followed by Chris Morris with eight wickets and Ishant Sharma with five wickets. Sandeep Lamichhane leads their spin-bowling having taken five wickets with Axar Patel and Amit Mishra taking three wickets each. It is worth noting that Rabada is their only bowler to have played every match so far, with the others being regularly rotated around.
A better batting pitch at the Feroz Shah Kotla might be better for the Capitals in the latter half of the group stage as the batsmen have collectively struggled and as a result have left too much for the bowlers to do. Runs from Chris Morris would go a long way in resolving their issues and give them more depth in batting
Kagiso Rabada will not be available towards the end of the tournament due to World Cup preparations. The same applies to Chris Morris if he makes the squad.
Ishant Sharma and Trent Boult are other options to consider in place of Rabada, while Keemo Paul and Axar Patel's all-round skill will help in giving the team more balance.