IPL 2019: Delhi Capitals are getting a reality check
Chennai Super Kings defeated Delhi Capitals comprehensively by 80 runs and moved to the top of the IPL points table, while severely damaging Delhi’s net run rate and their hopes of a Top 2 finish.
Although Delhi Capitals have already been guaranteed a place in the playoffs, there are a few problems which they need to address if they wish to win IPL 2019.
Top order woes
While Shikhar Dhawan is in sublime form, having scored 470 runs at an average of 39.16, Prithvi Shaw seems to be struggling this season with just 284 runs at an average of 21.84.
Delhi have the option of trying out talented New Zealand all-rounder Colin Munro at the top with Dhawan. Alternatively, domestic talent Manjot Kalra, who scored a fantastic hundred against Australia in India’s Under-19 World Cup final triumph last year, could be provided an opportunity in place of Shaw.
Middle order collapses
Some fans might be wondering whether DC stands for Delhi Capitals or Delhi Collapses. Who can forget how they lost seven wickets for just eight runs against Kings XI Punjab and ended up losing from a comfortable winning position?
There have been far too many collapses for Delhi Capitals this season. While captain Shreyas Iyer seems in good touch with 427 runs at an average of 35.58, Rishabh Pant has played well on some occasions but has also frequently thrown away his wicket by playing reckless shots. The World Cup snub may have affected Pant’s confidence.
Also, Colin Ingram's form is a major issue for Delhi Capitals. He has scored just 172 runs at an average of 19.11.
Delhi don't have too many middle order options, and that is hurting them big time. Players like Pant need to show more maturity while batting and play sensibly, according to the match situation.
Lack of batting all-rounders
Delhi Capitals seem to be lacking domestic batting all-rounders in their ranks. With the likes of Axar Patel, Rahul Tewatia, Jalaj Saxena and Hanuma Vihari, the team is heavily reliant on South African Chris Morris in this department.
However, Morris has so far failed with the bat, having scored just 32 runs at an average of 5.33. West Indians Kemo Paul and Sherfane Rutherford have been tried as well, but without much success so far.
The injury to Harshal Patel has also not helped the Delhi Capitals cause.
Plenty of spinners but no one who is very effective
Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla is known to be a slow wicket which can be exploited by the spinners. And Delhi Capitals have plenty of spinners in their squad comprising of Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, Sandeep Lamichhane, Jagadeesha Suchith, Rahul Tewatia and Jalaj Saxena.
With so many spin options, the team is spoiled for choice. However, their spinners are not performing according to their abilities so far.
Axar has taken 9 wickets in 11 matches at an economy of 7.33. Sandeep Lamichhane has played just 6 matches and taken 8 wickets with an economy of 9.13. Meanwhile Amit Mishra has played 8 matches with just 6 wickets at an economy of 7.71.
The spinners have not played as per the expectations, and need to do a much better job if Delhi Capitals want to win the trophy.
Kagiso Rabada ruled out of IPL
The Delhi Capitals bowling is heavily reliant on Kagiso Rabada, who has been a star performer this season and is also currently the leading Purple Cap list. Rabada has 25 wickets to his name from just 12 matches with an economy of 7.82.
The South African has played exceptionally well, having bailed out Delhi on a number of occasions including the fantastic Super Over win against KKR.
Ishant Sharma, who is not known for his shorter format exploits, has done a decent job so far with 7 wickets in 10 matches at an economy of 7.44. Chris Morris has taken 13 wickets in 9 matches but has been expensive with an economy of 9.27. And New Zealand’s Trent Boult has just played 2 matches this season taking 1 wicket with an economy of 9.87.
The domestic talent Avesh Khan has just played one game, whereas Nathu Singh and Bandaru Ayyappa are yet to get a game this season.
Rabada is now set to miss the remainder of the IPL due to a back niggle. His absence is surely going to hurt the franchise, and other players need to fill in the big void as soon as possible.
The heavy loss against CSK has come at the right time for the Delhi Capitals. It would surely act as a wake up call and give them a reality check about their issues.
Ricky Ponting, Sourav Ganguly and Co surely need to address the above issues if Delhi Capitals hope to win their maiden IPL this season.