Delhi Capitals (DC) are one of the few sides who have failed to win an IPL title in the history of the tournament. After finishing in top 4 in 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2019, they managed to go a step ahead and played their first final in 2020. Ricky Ponting has brought a sense of belief in the camp since joining the franchise. They have gone from strength to strength and Shreyas Iyer has been leading his troops quite impressively. Ahead of the 14th edition, it is high time that the franchise which represents the national capital of the country, leave their mark in the best T20 tournament by clinching their maiden IPL title.
Looking back at IPL 2020
Delhi Capitals had a fantastic start to their campaign in IPL 2020. After 36 league games, they were sitting at top of the table. They were looking unstoppable at that time, however they could not continue their fantastic form. Shreyas Iyer's side finished second in the league standings with 16 points in 14 matches. They eventually went on to play their first final in the history of the tournament. Although Mumbai Indians completely decimated them in the final showdown, Delhi Capitals could be really proud of what they achieved last season.
Having come so close to lift the title last year, Delhi would certainly be confident to win their first title in the 14th edition of the tournament. With some exciting additions to their squad, Ricky Ponting's men will seriously one of the teams to watch out for.
One of the strengths of Delhi Capitals has been that their batting core is built around Indian cricketers. They had the highest average score/inning of 189.14 among all the teams last season. While Shreyas Iyer-led side has the experience of Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane, there is also an exuberance of youth in the form of Prithvi Shaw and Rishabh Pant. While both Shaw and Pant had a disappointing IPL 2020, they have been in brilliant form ahead of the upcoming season. Pant has played some match-winning knocks for India against Australia and England. On the other hand, Shaw has taken the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021 by storm. With Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmyer and the latest addition of Steve Smith, Delhi certainly boast a really exciting batting line-up.
The real X-Factor for Delhi in IPL 2020 was their lethal bowling attack. The pace duo of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje were ruthless, especially in the first half of the season. They were well-supported by the Indian spin attack of Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel, while Marcus Stoinis also picked some crucial wickets. With Chris Woakes, Ishant Sharma and Amit Mishra back for this season, they have also added Umesh Yadav and Tom Curran to their squad. In the auction, Delhi Capitals also invested on some exciting youngsters in the form of Lukman Meriwala and M Siddarth to complete a formidable bowling unit.
One of the most important aspects of any successful franchise is the presence of a leadership group. Delhi Capitals have a relatively young captain in the form of Shreyas Iyer. The 26-year-old will have experienced players like Shikhar Dhawan, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ajinkya Rahane by his side. They have also added Steve Smith who is expected to play a major role in Delhi's leadership group this season. Apart from the players on the field, the backroom staff of Delhi Capitals is also one of the best. Head coach Ricky Ponting is one of the most influential people in the camp and also has the support of Mohammad Kaif and Pravin Amre.
Shikhar Dhawan: Matches - 176 | Runs - 5197 | SR - 126.87 | Avg - 34.41
Shreyas Iyer: Matches - 79 | Runs - 2200 | SR - 126.07 | Avg - 31.42
Kagiso Rabada: Matches - 35 | Wickets - 61 | ER - 8.23 | Best - 4/21
Marcus Stoinis: Matches - 46 | Runs - 825 | SR - 137.27 | Wickets: 28
Players to watch out for
Prithvi Shaw: Matches - 38 | Runs - 826 | SR- 139.76 | Avg- 21.73
Rishabh Pant: Matches - 68 | Runs - 2079 | SR - 151.97 | Avg - 35.23
Ravichandran Ashwin: Matches - 154 | Wickets - 138 | ER - 6.87 | Best - 4/34
Axar Patel: Matches - 97 | Runs - 913 | SR - 127.69 | Wickets: 80
Full Delhi Capitals Squad for IPL 2021
Shreyas Iyer (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Chris Woakes, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, Lalit Yadav, Pravin Dubey, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Ishant Sharma, Avesh Khan, Steve Smith, Umesh Yadav, Ripal Patel, Vishnu Vinod, Lukman Meriwala, M Siddarth, Tom Curran, Sam Billings.