The Delhi Capitals, one can say, is a franchise on the rise. After six underwhelming seasons, they revamped themselves last year under the young Shreyas Iyer, and will be looking to build on the same this year.
Last year was the first time since 2012 that the Delhi Capitals made it to the play-offs last, finishing third. The team have made it to the semi-finals, in the first two editions of the IPL, but rarely have Delhi looked as assured as they did last year.
The addition of the Indian duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ajinkya Rahane to the Delhi Capitals team brings more experience into the side, although what kind of impact they can make remains to be seen.
There has been an interesting sub-plot developing in the Delhi Capitals camp, with Ashwin and head coach debating over the ‘Mankading’ dismissal. However, the Delhi Capitals must focus all their energy on how to counter strong oppositions effectively. They will need their star players to deliver for them.
We look at three versatile cricketers, who are likely to be in demand in fantasy leagues as well.
#1. Shimron Hetmyer
The young, hard-hitting West Indian has been touted as the next big thing in West Indies cricket for a while. And while he hasn’t quite delivered yet, Shimron Hetmyer has done enough to emphasize why he is rated so highly.
Heymyer is the second-highest run-getter in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL 2020) so far, with 267 runs in 10 games at a strike rate of 126.54. His numbers include three scores in excess of fifty.
Hetmyer has a typical Calypso flair, which dictates his batting style. The same was on display in the Chennai ODI last year when he dismantled a strong Indian bowling attack en route to a classy 139 from 106 balls. The innings went a long in earning him a handsome Rs 7.75 crore contract with the Delhi Capitals for this season.
Playing for RCB last year, Hetmyer blasted 75 from 47 in a contest against Sunrisers Hyderabad. The Delhi Capitals will be hoping for such blitzkriegs on a more frequent basis this season.
#2. Kagiso Rabada
South Africa’s 25-year-old pace sensation, Kagiso Rabada is a legend in the making for sure. His brilliant yorkers, and deliveries bowled at over 140kph are lethal in the shortest version of the game as well. Rabada made his IPL debut for the Delhi Capitals in 2017, and despite missing out on the entire 2018 season due to injury, he swiftly rose to become the leader of the attack last season.
With 25 wickets in 12 matches at a strike rate of under 12, Rabada was next only to Chennai Super Kings’ Imran Tahir in the list of leading wicket-takers although he played fewer games.
His ability to pick up wickets at crucial stages was evident at various stages in the season. This was on display when he bowled the perfect yorker to dismiss the high-flying Andre Russell in the Super Over against Kolkata Knight Riders. It wouldn't be wrong to say that the Proteas fast bowler has played a major role in Delhi’s renaissance.
#3. Marcus Stoinis
What do you do when you are dropped from the national team owing to poor form? Go back to domestic cricket and perform so exceedingly well that the selectors are forced to recall you. This is exactly what Marcus Stoinis did.
In the 2019-20 Big Bash League, Stoinis plundered a record 705 runs from 17 games for Melbourne Stars at a strike rate of 136.62 with one hundred and six fifties. In a game against Sydney Sixers, he smashed a quite incredible 147 not out from 79 balls - a record for the highest score in the BBL.
Even though it did not earn him an immediate Australia recall, it was only a matter of time, as the selectors drafted him in for the limited-overs contests against England. Stoinis’ big-hitting ability can prove to be a massive plus to the Delhi Capitals, who will be hoping he continues from where he left off in the BBL.
Stoinis was part of RCB’s disastrous campaign in 2019. He did reasonably well with 211 runs at a strike rate of 135.25, but will be looking for sweeter memories with the Delhi Capitals this season.Published 08 Sep 2020, 14:53 IST