Delhi Capitals (DC) were one of the most consistent teams in the last three IPL seasons. The Capitals finished third in 2019 and 2021 while they reached their maiden IPL final in 2020.
The Delhi-based franchise have retained four players, namely Rishabh Pant, Axar Patel, Anrich Nortje and Prithvi Shaw ahead of the IPL Auction 2022. They had many talented players in their IPL 2021, but because of the mega auction rules, DC could not retain all of them.
Apart from big names like Ravichandran Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Ajinkya Rahane, Umesh Yadav, Marcus Stoinis, Chris Woakes and Ishant Sharma, there were also some lesser-known players released by DC ahead of the IPL 2022 Auction.
We look at the three lesser-known players from DC's IPL 2021 squad who are most likely to earn contracts at the IPL 2022 auction.
#1 Vishnu Vinod - Warmed the benches at DC in IPL 2021
Vishnu Vinod is a wicket-keeper batter from Kerala who was in the Delhi Capitals squad for IPL 2021. Many fans would know that Vinod has represented the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the past.
Vinod was very impressive for Kerala in the 2021-22 domestic season. The 28-year-old scored 204 runs in six innings of the Vijay Hazare Trophy. His batting average was 51 while his strike rate was 113.33, the best among all Kerala players.
In the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Vishnu scored 145 runs at an average of 145. He registered two fifties and smashed seven fours and nine sixes for Kerala.
#2 Ripal Patel - Made IPL debut for DC in 2021
Nadiad-born power hitter Ripal Patel made his IPL debut for the Delhi Capitals in the previous IPL season. Patel scored 25 runs in two matches, hitting three fours. He could not perform at his best for DC but the right-handed batter is extremely talented.
Patel has a career strike rate of 154.92 in domestic T20 cricket while he has hit more sixes than fours in his List-A career. Since Ripal knows how to smack big hits and take wickets with his medium pace, he could be an asset for any IPL franchise in 2022.
#3 Lukman Meriwala - Played 1 match for DC in IPL 2021
Lukman Meriwala represented the Delhi Capitals in the previous season and picked up one wicket for the team. Meriwala is a left-arm pace bowler from Baroda.
Since the left-arm fast bowlers are always in demand in T20 cricket, multiple IPL franchises will be interested in his services. For the record, Meriwala has taken 77 wickets in 48 T20 innings, with his best figures being 5/8. His economy rate has been less than seven runs per over.
The 30-year-old was a net bowler for the Indian cricket team during the ICC T20 World Cup 2021. Meriwala should earn a decent contract at the mega auction, and he may even receive more opportunities to play this year.