Delhi Capitals (previously Delhi Daredevils) are one of the three teams taking part in the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League who are yet to win the league. In the early years of the tournament they were quite competitive, making it to the semi-finals in the first two editions. After that, their fortunes stumbled significantly.
They finished 5th and 10th in 2010 and 2011 respectively. After being placed third in 2012, Delhi failed to reach the play-offs round even once from 2013 to 2018. They finished last in 2013 and 2014, 7th in 2015, 6th in 2016 and 2017, and last again in 2018.
Delhi’s fortunes changed for the better last year when, under Shreyas Iyer, they made it to the play-offs for the first time since 2012. Like in 2012, they finished at the third position in 2019 as well. Here’s an analysis of factors that could have a major impact on Delhi’s fortunes in IPL 2020.
#1 Flying starts from Shikhar Dhawan and Jason Roy
Openers play a significant role in any team’s success in the IPL. And, in Shikhar Dhawan and Jason Roy, Delhi have two of the most dangerous hitters of the cricket ball. The franchise can gain a significant advantage if the duo fire.
Unlike T20Is, Dhawan has an excellent record in the IPL. Having moved to Delhi last year following a trade-off with Sunrisers Hyderabad, the left-hander smashed 521 runs in 16 matches at a strike rate of 135.67 with five fifties at an average of 34.73. Dhawan was one of the key factors behind the franchise’s improved showing after many years of disappointments.
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The Indian opener has been in fine form in the tournament in recent editions, having scored close to 500 hundred runs in every season from 2016 to 2018 - 501 in 2016, 479 in 2017, 497 in 2018. Overall, he has 4,579 runs in 159 IPL matches at a strike rate of 124.80.
Although, Delhi have a few opening options in Prithvi Shaw and Ajinkya Rahane, they must pair Dhawan with England star Roy, considering his naturally attacking instinct and current form as well. Roy, who played a massive part in England’s 2019 World Cup triumph, is yet to make a big impact in the IPL, but all that can change this season.
In eight IPL matches, the England opener has scored 179 runs at a strike rate of 133.58 and an average of 29.83. His one innings of note has been the stunning 91 not out from 53 balls for Delhi against Mumbai Indians in 2018. The franchise will be expecting more of the same from him this season as well.