DC retained Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw, Axar Patel and Anrich Nortje, using up ₹42.5 crore. They will now have ₹47.50 crore left to spend in the auction, which is the lowest remaining budget among the eight existing franchises.
The two new teams will get to pick three players each from the remaining player pool before the IPL Auction 2022.
While Pant was the first retention at ₹16 crore, Axar Patel was retained for ₹9 crore. Shaw was retained for ₹7.5 crore and Nortje for ₹6.5 crore.
Shaw began his IPL career for DC in 2018 and has since established himself as an opener for them.
A swashbuckling batter, he has given DC quick starts, although his consistency has sometimes been an issue.
He had a dip in form in IPL 2020, but came back strong in IPL 2021, scoring 479 runs at a strike rate of 159.13.
Picking four retentions would have been difficult for DC, as they had plenty of great players in their squad that they had to release. Shikhar Dhawan, Ravichandran Ashwin and Kagiso Rabada were among those who were let go. Former captain Shreyas Iyer, it is understood, wanted to enter the auction and requested to be released.
Picking Shaw over Dhawan, who was his opening partner and an experienced campaigner who has been in terrific form over the last two years, raised some questions. But keeping hold of the 22-year-old was a good decision overall, and we try to analyse why.
Here are 3 reasons why Delhi Capitals were right to retain Prithvi Shaw:
#1 Age factor
Prithvi Shaw is one of the most highly rated youngsters in India and has a bright future ahead of him.
One of the reasons that made him a prime pick for retention is that he is just 22 and can be a long-term asset for DC to build their squad around, along with Pant.
That he has already impressed so much bodes well for DC as it means he will only improve with time.
#2 Explosive at the top
Prithvi Shaw is a quick starter, giving the Delhi Capitals momentum right from the top. His strike rate in the IPL of 146.30 speaks to his aggressive nature with the bat.
And in IPL 2021, he even found consistency, scoring four half-centuries and having his best season.
Unlike the majority of other openers, who operate as anchors, Shaw is someone who attacks from the word 'go', making him a rare commodity.
His best knock in IPL 2021 came against Kolkata Knight Rides, when he scored 82 off 41 deliveries in a chase of 155, which epitomized his style of play.
#3 Leadership experience
While DC already has Rishabh Pant to captain them for a long time, given he is only 24, it never hurts to have a strong group of leaders in a team.
Shaw exploded onto the scene when he led India to the 2018 U-19 World Cup title and has had experience leading teams since he was a youngster.
At 22, he can be groomed well for a leadership position to support Pant when needed and perhaps fill his boots if the regular skipper is unavailable with injury.
DC has a track record of backing youngsters to lead, having given Shreyas Iyer the captaincy when he was just 23 and then Pant earlier this year, when Iyer was ruled out of the first half of the season with an injury.
So it seems logical that they see in Shaw a leader, especially with him having been with the franchise from the start of his career.