Delhi Capitals (DC) enjoyed a fruitful outing in the last year’s edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The side led by Shreyas Iyer reached the final of the competition but lost to Mumbai Indians (MI) by five wickets.
Even after losing the final battle, DC earned a lot of positives from the season. Rishabh Pant found his lost form, and the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin, Marcus Stoinis, Kagiso Rabada, Shikhar Dhawan and Anrich Nortje all shined in their respective roles.
Ahead of the IPL 2021, DC received a set-back after their regular skipper Iyer got ruled out from the lucrative league after injuring his shoulder in the recently concluded ODI series against England. In the absence of Iyer, Pant has been handed over the responsibility to lead the side.
Let’s have a look at Delhi Capitals’ ideal playing XI in IPL 2021:
Openers: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan
Like the previous season, there won’t be any change in the opening pair of DC. Prithvi Shaw will again open the innings alongside Shikhar Dhawan. Shaw did not have a good season with the bat in IPL 2020 as he managed to score only 228 runs from 13 games. However, his recent domestic circuit performance will undoubtedly give him the confidence to enter the field in IPL 2021.
On the other hand, Dhawan had a marvellous outing last year. With 618 runs from 17 games, the left-handed batsman finished the tournament as the second-highest run-getter. Dhawan would aim to replicate his previous season performance in the forthcoming edition of IPL.
Middle-order: Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Shimron Hetmyer
Since Iyer will not be a part of Capitals in IPL 2021, the middle-order responsibility will be born by Ajinkya Rahane, captain Pant and power-hitter Shimron Hetmyer. While Rahane will look to anchor the innings, Pant and Hetmyer shall be focusing on continuing their attacking brand of batting.
The wicketkeeper-batsman had smashed 343 runs in IPL 2020, while Hemyer only managed to score 185 runs. Similarly, Rahane amassed 113 runs from 9 games last year.
Finisher: Marcus Stoinis
Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis had a dream IPL in the last season. The Western Aussie superstar scored 352 runs from 17 matches and picked up 13 wickets. More importantly, Stoinis made all these runs at an impressive strike rate of 148.52 while coming to bat at different positions.
The 31-year-old was asked to bat according to situations, and he did the job pretty well for Capitals. Stoinis will be expected to play a finisher’s role in the upcoming season and bag wickets at crucial circumstances.
Bowlers: Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Umesh Yadav
From the past few seasons, DC has been a side consisting of top-quality bowlers, who pick wickets and finish the matches with a lesser economy compared to their counterparts in the other teams. The likes of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje will again lead the bowling attack for Capitals in IPL 2021, and Umesh Yadav will assist the South African bowling duo.
Rabada was the highest wicket-taker in the previous season with 30 scalps to his name from 17 matches. Similarly, Nortje finished IPL 2020 as the fourth leading wicket-taker. He bagged 22 scalps in 16 games. Umesh, on the other hand, only played two games and couldn’t get any wicket.
The spin department will be headed by Ravichandran Ashwin and veteran bowler Amit Mishra. Ashwin had a terrific season for whites while playing for India, and he will enter with supreme confidence. The Tamil Nadu bowler was the third-highest wicket-taker (13) for DC during IPL 2020. At the same time, Mishra did not play enough matches as he got injured during the last season. He only appeared in three games and picked up three wickets.
Here is Delhi Capitals’ ideal playing XI:
- Prithvi Shaw – Matches: 38; Runs: 826; Strike-rate: 139.76; 50’s: 6
- Shikhar Dhawan – Matches: 176; Runs: 5197; Strike-rate: 126.87; 100’s: 2; 50’s: 41
- Ajinkya Rahane – Matches: 149; Runs: 3933; Strike-rate: 121.39; 100’s: 2; 50’s: 28
- Rishabh Pant – Matches: 68; Runs: 2079; Strike-rate: 151.97; 100’s: 1 50’s: 12
- Shimron Hetmyer – Matches: 17; Runs: 275; Strike-rate: 138.88; 50’s: 1
- Marcus Stoinis – Matches: 46; Runs: 825; Strike-rate: 137.27; 50’s: 4; Wickets: 28; Economy: 9.37
- Ravichandran Ashwin – Matches: 154; Wickets: 138; Best: 4/34; Economy: 6.87
- Kagiso Rabada – Matches: 35; Wickets: 61; Best: 4/21; Economy: 8.23
- Anrich Nortje – Matches: 16; Wickets: 22; Best: 3/33; Economy: 8.39
- Amit Mishra – Matches: 150; Wickets: 160; Best: 5/17; Economy: 7.34
- Umesh Yadav – Matches: 121; Wickets: 119; Best: 4/24;; Economy: 8.51