With an enviable blend of youth and experience, DC have one of the most well-rounded rosters in this year's tournament. Under the leadership of Rishabh Pant, they'll want to go one step further after reaching the final last season.
Competition for spots in the playing XI is bound to be cut-throat at DC in IPL 2021.
DC's squad for IPL 2021: Shreyas Iyer, Ajinkya Rahane, Amit Mishra, Avesh Khan, Axar Patel, Ishant Sharma, Kagiso Rabada, Prithvi Shaw, R Ashwin, Rishabh Pant, Shikhar Dhawan, Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Lalit Yadav, Anrich Nortje, Pravin Dubey, Chris Woakes, Steve Smith, Tom Curran, Sam Billings, Umesh Yadav, Lukman Meriwala, M Siddharth
Here are 3 quality DC players who might not get a game in IPL 2021.
#3 Sam Billings
Sam Billings was snapped up by DC late in the IPL 2021 auction, but he may not get a chance to showcase his wares this year. The Englishman has played for the franchise in the past, as well as the Chennai Super Kings, and is one of the most exciting players in the world on his day.
Billings recently suffered a collarbone injury in England's ODI series against India. Irrespective of his fitness, he should be behind Shimron Hetmyer and Steve Smith in the pecking order. While the West Indian played for the team last year, Smith's experience and skill will be invaluable in the absence of Iyer.
Billings may be consigned to the bench for the entirety of IPL 2021.
#2 Tom Curran
Tom Curran made his IPL debut with the Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2018, and didn't make a real impression at the 2-time champions. He then joined the Rajasthan Royals, for whom he was highly expensive.
In the previous season, Curran's all-round abilities prompted RR to field him in the XI as a replacement for Ben Stokes. And although he did score a fifty, he leaked runs at an alarming rate on a consistent basis.
Curran found a buyer in DC in the IPL 2021 auction, presumably as a backup for Marcus Stoinis. The Aussie all-rounder is one of the key components of the DC side, and he should hold on to his place even if he suffers a dip in form. Moreover, Curran didn't do very well in his country's recent limited-overs series against India.
Curran is unlikely to get a game for DC in IPL 2021, even more so due to the presence of the next man on this list.
#1 Chris Woakes
Despite missing the whole of IPL 2020, Chris Woakes was retained by DC ahead of the auction for this edition of the tournament. He has picked up 25 wickets in 18 IPL games at an economy rate of 9.24, and is more than handy with the bat.
But despite his credentials, Woakes perhaps isn't cut out for a place in the DC XI. In Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje, the 2020 finalists already have two world-class overseas pacers, and he probably isn't good enough to play primarily as a batsman.
Woakes hasn't been active in the international circuit as well - his last game for England was in September 2020. Out of match practice and not suited to DC's requirements, the 32-year-old might not feature in the team's playing XI in IPL 2021.