The Delhi Daredevils hadn’t made it to the playoffs since 2012 and finished last season at the bottom of the table with 10 points in 14 games. They have now been renamed Delhi Capitals and their jersey colour has changed. With a new avatar, the team will be hoping for a change in fortunes as well.
Delhi Capitals have brought in Shikhar Dhawan from Hyderabad, who can be a huge asset up at the top of the batting order. Given there’s Prithvi Shaw and Colin Munro as well, Delhi appear to have a good opening pair, with a solid back-up. The team tried too many combinations last season, including to the move to get Glenn Maxwell open the innings. Sticking to one combination might give the middle-order more stability.
Skipper Shreyas Iyer and the explosive Rishabh Pant are in the middle order. Iyer showed his class in the recent Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy where he scored two tons and a fifty, including a 55-ball 147.
Delhi Capitals has a strong bowling lineup, but they might rue not retaining Mohammed Shami, who has moved to Kings XI Punjab. In his place is veteran Ishant Sharma, who is looking to make a return to the limited-overs cricket for India. South Africa pacer Kagiso Rabada can also be a huge bowling asset.
The 22-year-old South African had a fantastic season with the national team and was dearly missed last season due to injury. New Zealand’s Trent Boult is also in the mix, thus making the team’s pace bowling lineup solid.
When it comes to spin, DC have a huge arsenal of quality bowlers, which include the Nepalese sensation Sandeep Lamichhane, apart from Axar Patel and uncapped talents Rahul Tewatia and Jalaj Saxena.
Apart from the solid opening batsmen amidst their ranks, the presence of Colin Ingram, Hanuma Vihari and Chris Morris further boosts the team’s batting line-up.
Delhi Capitals will also hope that having two of the smartest cricketers as mentors will benefit the team. Two-time World Cup-winning Australia captain Ricky Ponting is coach, and one of India’s most successful skippers Sourav Ganguly will be team advisor, and might provide the team with the edge they’ve been missing.
Delhi Capitals weakness is the absence of a leader. Shreyas Iyer won four games last season but at times showed signs of inexperience in leadership skills. Despite the new avatar, the franchise has retained him as captain. Apart from Iyer, Dhawan appears to be the only member with leadership capabilities.
What to watch out for:
Rishabh Pant’s performance will be watched considering he’s one of the contenders for the World Cup squad. If the keeper fires consistently, he could be MS Dhoni’s understudy in the World Cup. Ganguly and Ponting have both picked Pant as India’s no. 4 in the upcoming tournament and the 21-year-old will feel the pressure to prove them right.
Retained: Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw, Amit Mishra, Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel, Rahul Tewatia, Jayant Yadav, Manjot Kalra, Colin Munro, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Sandeep Lamichhane, Trent Boult, Hanuma Vihari, Axar Patel, Ishant Sharma, Ankush Bains, Nathu Singh, Colin Ingram, Sherfane Rutherford, Keemo Paul, Jalaj Saxena, Bandaru Ayyappa.