IPL 2020: Delhi Capitals | Key players, strengths, weaknesses, and probable XI
- Can the Delhi franchise get into their maiden final this season?
Delhi Capitals (DC), formerly known as Delhi Daredevils, are one of the most promising, but underpeforming teams in the IPL in the long run. Starting to invest in youth after Rahul Dravid took charge in 2015, Delhi have finally started to get the results in their favour. The trophy cabinet might still be empty, but qualifying for the playoffs for the first time in seven years in 2019 is a sign of their potential.
DC were the most active team during the transfer window, indulging in multiple trades. The major ones being trading in R Ashwin and Ajinkya Rahane while trading out Trent Boult. Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmeyer, Chris Woakes, and Jason Roy are the notable buys in the auctions. However, Chris Woakes pulled out of the tournament just ahead of the beginning of the season, putting the management in a little spot of bother.
Delhi Capitals Squad
Shreyas Iyer, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, Jason Roy, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra, Avesh Khan, Sandeep Lamichhane, Kagiso Rabada, Keemo Paul, Mohit Sharma, Lalit Yadav, Axar Patel, Harshal Patel, R Ashwin, Marcus Stoinis, Chris Woakes, Rishabh Pant, Alex Carey, Shimron Hetmyer, Tushar Deshpande
Delhi Capitals have one of the strongest Indian cores in the tournament; so much so that they can play with an all-Indian lineup and still be a formidable unit. The perfect blend of youth and experience, which was the missing link in their squad, is now there with the likes of Rahane, Ashwin, Dhawan, and Ishant Sharma added to the squad over the last couple of years.
The batting line-up looks as strong as ever, more importantly, they now possess a lineSup suited for their home track. The likes of Rahane, Dhawan, and Iyer are all suited to bat well on wickets where the ball does not come on to the bat very well.
For the slow and low pitch at Kotla now have better and more experienced personnel to take advantage of it. Ashwin, Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, and Sandeep Lamichhane comprise of the spin department, which is probably the strongest in the competition and facing them at home will be an uphill task for any opposition.
With a formidable side on paper with no glaring weaknesses, Delhi Capitals enter the tournament as a confident unit. However, the only concern they have is the back-up for the injury-prone Kagiso Rabada. Rabada’s impact can be gauged from the difference he made last year, after missing the 2018 season due to injury. Delhi have the likes of Keemo Paul, Ishant Sharma, and Mohit Sharma to fill in the slot but the impact would not be the same. Moreover, Ishant Sharma is nursing an injury and Chris Woakes pulling out of the IPL has added to the woes. Delhi would therefore need to have a fully fit Rabada if they want to go the distance.
Despite having a formidable batting order, which will make someone like Jason Roy sit on the bench, Delhi will have the headache of managing the resources and fitting the right batsman in the right slot. If not handled well, the strong point might turn into their weakness, as has happened with many teams in the past.
Kagiso Rabada - The South African pacer proved to be a game-changer for DC last season with 25 wickets from 12 games. His injury just ahead of the playoffs proved them costly. With the Delhi pitch staying slow and low for most parts of the season, Rabada brings in the x-factor with his express pace and deadly accurate yorkers. He is doubly lethal on relatively faster wickets like Wankhede or Eden Gardens. Not only with pace, but Rabada also has the ability to beat the batsmen with swing and bounce. One of the best fast bowlers in the world in all formats, Rabada will hold the key to Delhi's fortunes in crunch games.
Shreyas Iyer - Taking over the captaincy from Gambhir in 2018, Iyer has taken giant strides, both in terms of batting as well as leading the side. A more complete batsman now and a regular for India, Iyer at number four will hold the middle-order together. Sandwiched between power hitters like Shaw, Hetmeyer, and Pant in the batting order, Iyer's ability to play according to the situation makes him a more valuable asset.
Ravichandran Ashwin - The former KXIP skipper was traded in by DC during the transfer window. The move might prove to be a masterstroke, given the nature of their home pitch and Ashwin's ability to take advantage of such pitches. Despite not being amongst wickets off late in the IPL, Ashwin continues to be economical even on pitches not assisting with much turn. But he finally will be getting a pitch similar to Chepauk, which will be slow and assist spin, which is why Ashwin is one of the bowlers to look forward to this season.
Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Alex Carey, Keemo Paul, Harshal Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Sandeep Lamichhane
Delhi Capitals are probably the only team in the tournament who can make a match-winning XI without a single overseas player. They do have a side this time which is suitable for their home turf. A playoff qualification should be a minimum for the Iyer-led outfit.
Published 13 Mar 2020, 14:59 IST