The Delhi Capitals (DC) have a few questions to answer ahead of the second phase of the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL), but they will be confident of their chances when the tournament resumes in the UAE next month.
Choosing a captain between Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer won't be easy for DC. While Iyer has led the team admirably since taking over at the helm a few years ago, Pant skippered the side to the top of the points table at the end of the first half of the ongoing edition of the league.
However, irrespective of who they go with, DC will be among the favorites to lift the IPL 2021 crown. In the 2020 season, which also happened in the UAE, the Delhi-based franchise reached the final and gave the top teams in the league a run for their money.
Here are three major reasons why DC will win the tournament.
#3 DC have several in-form players ahead of IPL 2021
Although the IPL is resuming after months, most of DC's players have been active in other leagues and tournaments. The team has several in-form players who can ensure that rust isn't a factor in the UAE.
Prithvi Shaw made a return to the Indian side for the Sri Lanka limited-overs series and played a few eye-catching knocks at the top of the order. Shikhar Dhawan, Shaw's opening partner during the series, was in good nick as well.
Rishabh Pant has spent some time in the middle with the Indian Test team, as have Ravichandran Ashwin and Ishant Sharma. Others like Umesh Yadav and Axar Patel are also part of the red-ball squad.
DC's overseas players like Shimron Hetmyer, Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada have also been active in international cricket, leading to the team coming into IPL 2021 in shape and in form.
#2 DC will welcome the return of Shreyas Iyer
During India's limited-overs series against England earlier this year, Shreyas Iyer suffered a shoulder injury that he had to undergo surgery for. After undergoing extensive rehabilitation at the NCA, Iyer has now been cleared to take part in the second phase of IPL 2021.
Iyer may or may not be appointed DC's captain, but he will slot into the batting order in a much-needed boost. While the team won six of their eight IPL 2021 games, they largely relied on top-order contributions from Dhawan and Shaw, which masked the relative weakness of the middle order.
Iyer will add great stability and power to the batting lineup, apart from being an astute tactician even if he isn't anointed as skipper. The 26-year-old's services haven't been needed so far in IPL 2021, but DC are blessed to have a player of his quality returning to the fold.
#1 DC play an aggressive brand of cricket
Whether under Rishabh Pant or Shreyas Iyer, DC have played an aggressive brand of cricket that has brought them immense success over the last few IPL seasons.
This season, too, DC have been fearless in their approach. Shaw and Dhawan have given the team excellent starts at the top of the order, while Pant hasn't been hesitant to promote himself to take on the bowling.
DC have trusted uncapped players like Lalit Yadav and Avesh Khan to assume key roles for the team, while the old guard of Ravichandran Ashwin and Amit Mishra have played crucial supporting roles.
DC have a well-rounded side that is always on the front foot - something that is needed in a league as competitive as the IPL. Last year's finalists could go all the way in IPL 2021, especially if they sustain their momentum and clinch a top-two spot.