Much like the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), the Delhi-based franchisee, the Delhi Capitals (previously Delhi Daredevils) are also yet to taste the fruit of victory. After witnessing a magnificent run in the first few seasons where they also qualified into the knockouts, the fate of the franchisee seems to have dropped down the ladder drastically. Since the start of the IPL in 2008, the Delhi Capitals have finished the tournament with the wooden spoon record four times in 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2018. However, this year with a new name and a young brigade of players, they would be hoping to script some new engravings and printings for the history to remember their initial mark. The Delhi Capital will be starting their campaign in IPL 2019 against the three-time winners, Mumbai Indians in the evening encounter on March 24 in Mumbai.
The Delhi Capitals franchisee was the most active group at the auction proceedings after Kings XI Punjab, procuring a total of ten players. However, they bought an iconic player in Shikhar Dhawan before the start of the auction through a trade window from Sunrisers Hyderabad. At the auction proceedings, they acquired some good overseas talents in Colin Ingram, Keemo Paul, and Sherfane Rutherford. Whereas, they also picked the likes of Hanuma Vihari, Axar Patel, Nathu Singh and Ishant Sharma to strengthen their squad with a strong core of Indian players.
Delhi Capitals’ possible starting XI
The duo comprising of Shikhar Dhawan and young Prithvi Shaw will be opening the batting. With his years of experience, Dhawan will be expected to play a key role in changing the fortunes of his new franchisee. In 143 matches, the opener has amassed a sensational tally of 4,057 runs at a decent average of 32.98 which also includes as many as 32 half-centuries. Whereas, his opening partner, Prithvi who is coming back from an ankle injury had a great time in his debut season in 2018, racking up a total of 245 runs in nine games.
The Delhi Capitals skipper Shreyas Iyer will be leading the team as well as the middle-order along with the likes of Rishabh Pant and Hanuma Vihari. After being appointed as the captain midway through the last season, Iyer’s stocks enhanced greatly, scoring a fabulous total of 411 runs. Pant proved to be the most destructive and belligerent force in IPL 2018, striking a scintillating tally of 684 runs with a phenomenal strike-rate of 173.60 which also included a terrific hundred (126 runs which is the highest individual score by an Indian player in IPL) against the Sunrisers Hyderabad. While after a sensational domestic season and some fighting performances for the India Test team, their newest recruit, Vihari will be desperate to showcase his worth and skills as a T20 cricketer.
After an ordinary season both with the bat and ball in the four games he played last year before getting ruled out, South African all-rounder Chris Morris will be hoping to put forward an improved performance this year. The other all-rounder’s spot will be taken up by Axar Patel. With an excellent ability to tonk the ball in the last few overs and bowling his full quota of four overs most of the times, Axar’s inclusion will definitely add balance to the team.
In the fast bowling department, Kiwi left-arm fast bowler Trent Boult will be partnering South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada. Even though his team’s performance was not upto the mark in the previous edition, Boult did an excellent job with the ball, scalping an amazing tally of 14 wickets and he was also very much electric in the field.
In the spin bowling contingent, the wrist-spin duo comprising of Amit Mishra and Nepal’s Sandeep Lamichhane will be the likely starters in the playing XI along with Axar. Mishra will be expected to bring forth his years of experience, picking up a fabulous total of 146 IPL wickets at an impressive average of 24.14, while Lamichhane, who performed exceedingly well in the three matches he played, will be aiming to once again rattle the batsmen with his bagful of variations.
Probable XI: Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer (c), Rishabh Pant, Hanuma Vihari, Chris Morris, Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, Kagiso Rabada, Trent Boult, Sandeep Lamichhane.