Delhi had an incredibly successful season in the UAE where they reached the finals and will be looking to build on their progress in 2021. Unfortunately, Delhi will be without their captain Shreyas Iyer for the entirety of the tournament and have named Rishabh Pant as his replacement instead of R Ashwin or Ajinkya Rahane. Hometown hero Pant is the future of the Capitals franchise and is no stranger to captaincy having previously led Delhi to the SMAT title in 2017. Delhi have an incredibly strong team with the perfect blend of youth and experience and are one of the clear favourites to make the playoffs.
Delhi have an incredibly well-balanced team and one of their strongest assets is their wealth of Indian batting options. Shikhar Dhawan has now produced two consecutive 500 run seasons for the Capitals and even increased his scoring rate in IPL 2020 with an impressive strike rate of 144. Prithvi Shaw has had an incredible record-breaking Vijay Hazare tournament recently and Rishabh Pant has been India’s most reliable and explosive batsman in the past few months. They will sorely miss the services of their captain Shreyas Iyer but in Ajinkya Rahane, they have a very capable replacement at number three who can anchor the innings.
Apart from their batting, Delhi also rely on their South African fast bowling duo of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje who were incredible in the UAE. The two of them rattled opposition defences with their pace and bounce and were particularly effective at taking wickets at the death where they helped DC pick up a league-high of 41 wickets in the last 5 overs in IPL 2020.
While their top order is incredibly strong, there are some questions over their middle order and the finishing ability of Marcus Stoinis and Axar Patel. Patel has an IPL strike rate of only 127 and Marcus Stoinis’s preferred position is at the top of the order and only time will tell if he can replicate his heroics from last season.
The other issue for this team is that their backup for Rabada and Nortje are very thin and their playoffs hopes will firmly depend on the fitness and availability of the South African duo. Chris Woakes has barely played any cricket in the past 6 months and Tom Curran has an IPL career economy of 11.5.
Player to watch out for: Prithvi Shaw
Prithvi Shaw has had a disastrous time in IPL 2020 where he averaged only 17. His confidence took a further hit in Australia where he was dropped after the disaster in Adelaide. However, since then, Shaw has gone back to domestic cricket and scored a truck-load of runs for Mumbai and regained some form. Shaw can be the difference-maker at the top for Delhi and his fast-starts can set the tone for an incredibly strong batting line-up.
Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Ishant Sharma