Delhi Capitals (DC) have been the perennial under-achievers in the Indian Premier League (IPL). The Delhi-based franchise is the only team that has been a part of all the twelve seasons of the prestigious league without reaching the final even once.
Delhi Capitals, previously called Delhi Daredevils, have managed to reach the playoff or knockout stage of the IPL on four occasions. They finished third in three seasons in the IPL (2009, 2012 and 2019), which represents their best finish in the league.
Over the years, the Delhi team has failed to stitch together a settled outfit, making wholesale changes to their squad almost every season. Some of the all-time IPL greats were once part of the Delhi Capitals team before they went on to showcase their potential for other teams.
Unfortunately, these greats did not set the tournament on fire when they were a part of the Delhi team, leading to the franchise not retaining them.
Our intention here is to put together the best possible playing XI for Delhi Capitals, comprising players who have represented the franchise over twelve seasons of the IPL. The team has been formed adhering to the IPL's restriction of having a maximum of four overseas players in the playing lineup.
Without further ado, let us meet the players in Delhi Capitals' best all-time playing XI.
Openers of Delhi Capitals' All-time XI
#1: Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag would be one of the openers in this all-time Delhi Capitals XI. The Nawab of Najafgarh, as he was fondly called, is the highest run-scorer in the IPL for the Delhi outfit.
Sehwag smashed 2174 runs for DC at an average of 29.37. But true to his nature, it was his strike rate of 160.32 that set him apart. He also holds the record of the most 50-plus scores for the Delhi franchise, with 16 such knocks to his name.
#2: David Warner
David Warner would stride out to open the batting with Sehwag in Delhi Capital's all-time XI. The Australian would form an explosive opening pair with Sehwag. The duo with their attacking strokeplay could give nightmares to any bowling attack.
Warner is the highest run-scorer for Delhi Capitals among foreign players. The southpaw has amassed 1435 runs for the Delhi franchise, at an average of 28.70 and a decent strike rate of 133.11.
The stocky opener is also the only Delhi player to have struck more than one century in the IPL, having struck 2 centuries for the Capitals. Warner would also have fond memories of his association with the Delhi franchise, as his first career T20 century came for them.
Middle Order of Delhi Capitals' All-time XI (3-6)
#3: Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir would walk into bat for the all-time Delhi Capitals XI at the fall of the first wicket. Although predominantly an opener, the Delhi left-hander would have to bat one-down to accommodate the dynamic duo of Warner and Sehwag at the top of the order.
Gambhir has scored 1182 runs for Delhi Capitals at a decent average of 29.55 and a strike rate of 122.86. He was also the highest run-scorer for the Delhi outfit in the inaugural season of the IPL, scoring 534 runs at an excellent average of 41.07 and an impressive strike rate of 140.89.
The left-hander would shoulder the additional responsibility of leading this hypothetical Delhi Capitals XI. He did not enjoy great success on his return to DC as captain from KKR. However, his good record for Delhi in his first stint and excellent captaincy record for KKR would make him the best option to lead this Delhi Capitals all-time XI side.
#4: Shreyas Iyer
Shreyas Iyer would take the No. 4 position in this all-time Delhi Capitals XI. The Mumbai middle-order batsman has improved his game by leaps and bounds in the last couple of years and has also shouldered the responsibility of captaining the side after Gambhir gave up the job.
Iyer is the third-highest run-scorer for Delhi Capitals, with 1681 runs to his name. These runs have come at an average of 30.56 and a strike rate of 126.96.
The Mumbai player also holds the distinction of being named the 'Emerging Player of the Year' in IPL 2015, a year in which he scored 439 runs at an impressive average of 33.76 and a strike rate of 128.36. Having cemented his place in the Indian middle-order in the limited-overs format, Iyer would be the perfect option to play the same role in this all-time Delhi Capitals XI as well.
#5: Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant would play the role of a finisher and an attacking batsman in the middle-order for Delhi Capitals' all-time XI. The Delhi southpaw would also be donning the wicketkeeping gloves for this team.
Pant has smashed 1736 runs for Delhi Capitals, the second-highest by any Delhi batsman, behind only Sehwag. These runs have been scored at an average of 36.16 and an outstanding strike rate of 162.69, the best among all Delhi Capitals batsmen who have faced a minimum of 125 deliveries in the IPL.
The wicket-keeper batsman was named the 'Emerging Player of the Year' in IPL 2018, a season in which he scored 684 runs, the most by any Delhi Capitals batsman in a calendar year. The amazing part of this performance was his consistency, complemented with some blazing strokeplay, as suggested by his average of 52.61 and a strike rate of 173.60.
#6: Jean-Paul Duminy
Jean-Paul Duminy would take the final spot in the middle-order of the all-time Delhi Capitals XI. The South African might seem a surprising pick in this team but he had an outstanding record while playing for the Delhi outfit.
Duminy aggregated 1015 runs for Delhi Capitals at an excellent average of 44.13 and a strike rate of 130.79. He was appointed the captain of the DC team in IPL 2015, considering his consistent performances for the franchise in the previous season.
The more than handy part-time off-spinner would also provide the back-up bowling option in this Delhi Capitals all-time XI. Duminy has accounted for 13 wickets while playing for the Delhi outfit, at an acceptable average of 32.38 and a decent economy rate of 7.38. Duminy's wicket haul for DC includes a spell of 4/17 against Sunrisers Hyderabad, the best bowling performance by an overseas player for the franchise.
Kevin Pietersen and AB de Villiers are the other foreign player options for the middle-order spot. But Duminy gets the nod due to his slightly higher consistency for Delhi Capitals and his ability to be the sixth bowling option for the team.
All-Rounder in Delhi Capitals' All-time XI
#7: Chris Morris
Chris Morris would be the only genuine all-rounder in this all-time Delhi Capitals XI. The South African has a terrific record for the Delhi franchise, although he could not replicate that performance in IPL 2019.
Morris has scored 427 runs for Delhi Capitals at an average of 28.46. His blistering strike rate of 160.52 is second only to Rishabh Pant among all Delhi Capitals batsmen who have faced a minimum of 125 deliveries in the IPL.
With the ball, Morris has 41 scalps to his credit at an average of 24.31 and an economy rate of 8.17.
Bowlers for Delhi Capitals' All-time XI (8-11)
#8: Kagiso Rabada
Kagiso Rabada would lead the pace bowling department of the Delhi Capitals all-time XI. The South African will provide the much-needed firepower to the bowling attack, both in the powerplay and at the death.
Rabada has bagged 31 wickets for Delhi Capitals in just 18 matches. These wickets have come at an average of 17.93, the best in the history of the IPL among bowlers who have delivered a minimum of 250 balls.
The talented Rabada had an outstanding IPL 2019, a season in which he claimed 25 wickets at an average of 14.72 and a decent economy rate of 7.82. This performance went a long way in helping Delhi Capitals qualify for the IPL playoffs for the first time since 2012.
#9: Zaheer Khan
Zaheer Khan would provide the much-needed experience and guile to the bowling attack of the all-time Delhi Capitals XI. The left-arm quick had also captained the side in IPL 2017.
For the record, Khan has 27 scalps to his name for Delhi Capitals in the IPL. These wickets have come at an average of 29.85 and an economy rate of 7.46.
Khan would prove to be the perfect ally for Rabada, both in the powerplay and at the death, with his clever changes of pace and ability to bowl the yorker holding him in good stead.
#10: Amit Mishra
Amit Mishra would be the only specialist spinner in this all-time Delhi Capitals XI. The Haryana leg-spinner is not only the highest wicket-taker for the Capitals in the IPL, but also has the most scalps among all Indian bowlers in the history of the league.
Mishra has claimed 97 wickets for Delhi Capitals at an average of 23.97 and a decent economy rate of 7.33. He also has the best two bowling figures for the Delhi team in the history of the league.
The wily leg-spinner has the unique distinction of being the only bowler to have registered three hat-tricks in the history of the IPL. The first of these three hat-tricks came while playing for Delhi Capitals against the Deccan Chargers in IPL 2008.
#11: Ashish Nehra
Ashish Nehra would take the final spot in this all-time Delhi Capitals XI. The Delhi left-arm quick was one of the most consistent Indian fast bowlers for the Delhi franchise.
Nehra bagged 36 wickets for Delhi Capitals in the IPL at an average of 21.05, the best among all Indian bowlers who have delivered a minimum of 250 balls for the Delhi franchise.
This wicket tally includes the 19 wickets he took for the Delhi outfit in IPL 2009, the best haul by an Indian bowler for Delhi Capitals in any season of the IPL.