Delhi Capitals (DC) has been a perennial underachiever in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Over the last couple of years, the franchise has made a massive investment in assembling star-studded squads in their quest for the elusive championship title.
Last season, under the astute leadership of Shreyas Iyer, the Capitals qualified for playoffs for the first time since 2012. But, they fell short of reaching the final after losing the second qualifier to Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
In the IPL 2020 auction, DC further strengthened their squad by adding the experienced duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ajinkya Rahane.
While Ashwin’s inclusion will add much-needed shrewdness to the spin attack, an acquisition of Rahane has overcrowded their batting unit.
Let’s have a look at the ideal playing XI for the Delhi Capitals ahead of the upcoming season:
Openers: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan was the leading run-scorer for the franchise last season. He finished the tournament with 521 runs under his belt.
Dhawan will be paired with Prithvi Shaw to open the innings for the Capitals. Jason Roy’s withdrawal from the tournament has made the road clear for Shaw.
Ajinkya Rahane is likely to be used as the back-up opener for the team.
Middle Order: Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Shimron Hetmyer
Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant and Shimron Hetmyer form the crux of DC’s batting line-up.
Iyer’s technical proficiency against spin will prove to be highly beneficial on testing surfaces in the UAE.
DC splashed a lavish sum of INR 7.75 crore to acquire the services of Shimron Hetmyer, and he is expected to play the role of finisher. He will be well assisted by Pant, who is also supposed to do the wicket-keeping duties.
All-rounder: Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel
The Capitals paid INR 4.8 crore to procure Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis, who is in a rich vein of form. Stoinis had a terrific campaign with Melbourne Stars (MS) in the 2019 Big Bash League (BBL), where he scored a whopping 701 runs.
DC will expect a similar sort of performances from the Aussies.
Considering the spin-friendly conditions in the UAE, Axar Patel is most likely to get a nod above Keemo Paul and Daniel Sams as the second all-rounder in the team.
Bowler: R Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma
DC possesses perhaps the deadliest bowling attack among all franchises. The highly experienced duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Amit Mishra will lead the spin department for the team. They also have more than a worthy replacement in the form of Sandeep Lamichchane.
Kagiso Rabada was the leading wicket-taker for the franchise last year. He scalped as many as 25 wickets in just 12 matches. Indian pacer Ishant Sharma will be the second fast-bowler for DC.
- Shikhar Dhawan – Matches: 159; Runs: 4579; Average: 33.42; 50’s: 37
- Prithvi Shaw – Matches: 25; Runs: 598; Average: 23.92; 50’s: 4
- Shreyas Iyer – Matches: 62; Runs: 1681; Average: 30.56; 50’s: 13
- Rishabh Pant – Matches: 54; Runs: 1736; Average: 36.16; 100’s: 1 50’s: 11
- Shimron Hetmyer – Matches: 5; Runs: 90; Average: 18; 50’s: 1
- Marcus Stoinis – Matches: 29; Runs: 473; Average: 31.53; 50’s: 1; Wickets: 15; Economy: 9.30
- Axar Patel – Matches: 82; Runs: 796; Average: 18.95; Wickets: 71; Economy: 7.45
- R Ashwin – Matches: 139; Wickets: 125; Best: 4/34; Economy: 6.70
- Kagiso Rabada – Matches: 18; Wickets: 31; Best: 4/21; Economy: 8.13
- Ishant Sharma – Matches: 89; Wickets: 72; Best: 5/12; Economy: 8.09
- Amit Mishra – Matches: 147; Wickets: 157; Best: 5/17; Economy: 7.35