While we have seen teams like Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings assert their dominance in both the IPL and the CLT20 during the last decade, there have been three teams that have never had the chance to lift the IPL trophy i.e RCB, DC and KXIP. Delhi Capitals are yet to feature in an IPL final, let alone winning the IPL. They have been the perennial underdogs of the IPL.
Unlike Kings XI Punjab or Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Capitals have actually had some very strong players in their side over the years but its their bad decisions which is holding them back from winning a title. In 2008, they had the chance to sign Virat Kohli as the U-19 player but they opted for Pradeep Sangwan instead. The Delhi-based outfit have let go of T20 heavyweights such as AB De Villiers, David Warner, Andre Russell and Glenn Maxwell.
A feature in most of their squads over the years is the reliance on Indian batsmen. Rahul Dravid, and most recently, Ricky Ponting have managed to instill a lot of confidence in their young players such as Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson. They finished as table toppers in 2009 and 2012, but have made the playoffs on four occasions only. Delhi Daredevils also hold the unfortunate record of finishing rock bottom of the table four times!
Virender Sehwag was selected as their icon player for the inaugural edition of the IPL and a lot of local boys like Gautam Gambhir, Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant have gone on to play for the Delhi franchise. They followed the footsteps of Rising Pune Supergiant and changed their team name from Delhi Daredevils to Delhi Capitals in 2018 and found immediate success by finishing in the playoffs for the first time since 2012.
Let us take a look at DC’s all-time XI:
1. Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag is an obvious selection in this team. The former Delhi captain parted ways with the team in 2013 but remains their top scorer till now. The flamboyant opener played for Delhi Capitals from 2008 to 2013 and scored a total of 2382 runs in 86 matches during that period, which is 500 more than any other player. He was the man who symbolised ‘Delhi’, and was deservedly chosen as the captain and icon player in 2008.
He powered the team into the semi finals of the first two seasons of the IPL. He scored a magnificent 56-ball 119 against Deccan Chargers in 2011. He scored his runs for Delhi Capitals at an average of 29.77 but it was his strike rate of 158.37 that set him apart from his peers. Viru scored more than 400 runs in 3 of the 6 seasons that he played for Delhi Capitals.
He also holds the record of the most 50+ scores for the Delhi franchise, with 16 such knocks to his name. After the 2013 campaign, the Nawab of Najafgarh joined Kings XI Punjab for a two year stint. He scored 455 runs in his first season for the Kings XI Punjab in 2014 which included a century but he will always be known for his time with his local side.
2. David Warner
David Warner will be forming a solid right hand-left hand combination at the top of the order with Virender Sehwag. They both are two of the most explosive batsmen in the 21st century. The duo could give nightmares to any bowling attack with their attacking style of play. David Warner is the highest scoring foreign player for the Delhi Capitals.
The southpaw was drafted by the Delhi Capitals in 2009. He scored 1456 runs for them with an average of 28.54 at a healthy strike rate of 132.84. He has scored the most number of centuries for the Capitals. He joined Sunrisers Hyderabad in after the 2013 campaign and has been their most consistent batsman in the IPL.
In 2011, Warner became the first cricketer to score consecutive T20 centuries, when he followed up a 135* against Chennai Super Kings with a 123* against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Both matches were in the Champions League. The Aussie pocket dynamo is definitely going down as a Sunrisers Hyderabad legend but also deserves a place in Delhi’s XI.
3. Gautam Gambhir
Although predominantly an opener, the Delhi left-hander would have to bat at number 3 to accommodate the dynamic duo of Warner and Sehwag at the top of the order. Gambhir has represented Delhi Capitals in two different stages of his career. He started his IPL journey with his local side in 2008, joined Kolkata Knight Riders for 8 seasons which saw him gain immense success and then returned to Delhi Capitals for a season.
He spent the first three years of IPL with Delhi Capitals. He scored a total of 1200 runs in 48 innings and was vital to Delhi’s fortunes in the first few seasons. He was also the highest run-scorer for the Delhi outfit in the inaugural season of the IPL, scoring 534 runs at an excellent average of 41.07 and an impressive strike rate of 140.89, which included five half centuries.
His return to the capital city in 2018 wasn’t a season to remember. Just like Warner, Gambhir went on to become a household name for another IPL side, but his contribution for Delhi Capitals is noteworthy to the say the least. The two time IPL winning captain will also have the additional responsibility of leading this hypothetical side.
4. Shreyas Iyer
Shreyas Iyer has been a one-club man after joining Delhi Capitals in 2015. Unlike a lot of Indian batsman in this XI, Iyer actually hails from Mumbai. Iyer was voted as the Emerging Player of the Season in his debut season. The Mumbai batsman has immaculate cricketing techniques under his belt. He is capable of taking the aerial route on one ball and then playing a handsome cover drive on the other.
He has been one of their best batsmen since the 2015 campaign. Apart from 2016, which saw a blip in his form, he has scored around 400 runs each year. His career average of 30.56 is just an indication of how vital he is in the middle order. Overall, Iyer has scored 1681 runs in his IPL career which includes 13 half centuries.
Following a series of poor performances by Gautam Gambhir in 2018, the youngster was made captain of the side and it has helped him improve his game by leaps and bounds. He is the third highest run-getter in the history of the franchise already and has been a mainstay in their batting line up ever since making his debut back in 2015.
5. Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant is yet another player batsman to feature in this XI who has also represented Delhi in first class cricket. Like Iyer, Pant has also played only for one team in his IPL career. He was only 19 years old when he made his IPL debut in 2016 and he made an instant impact for the side. The Delhi southpaw would also be donning the keeping gloves for this team.
Pant has amassed a total of 1736 runs for the Delhi Capitals which makes him the 2nd highest run scorer for the side and he is well on his way to become the highest run scorer in the next season or two. These runs have been scored at an average of 36.16 and an outstanding strike rate of 162.69, the best among all Delhi Capitals batsmen.
The youngster was named the ‘Emerging Player of the Year’ in IPL 2018 as he scored 684 runs, the most by any Delhi Capitals batsman in a single season. He scored these runs at a mind blowing average of 52.61 and a strike rate of 173.60. Pant is only 22 and has a great career ahead of him and the fact that he walks into this team just shows how much he has already achieved.
6. JP Duminy
Jean Paul Duminy is one of the forgotten stars of IPL. After a few good seasons with Mumbai Indians, Duminy played for Deccan Chargers before joining Delhi Capitals in 2014. Duminy enjoyed a couple of fruitful years at Feroz Shah Kotla. He scored 400+ runs in his first two seasons while for Delhi Capitals. After an average outing with the bat in 2016, he returned to Mumbai Indians for the 2018 season.
Duminy aggregated 1015 runs for Delhi Capitals at an excellent average of 44.13 and a strike rate of 130.79. He was appointed the captain of the team in IPL 2015, considering his consistent performances for the franchise in the previous season. His average of 44.13 in 35 innings is a testament to his consistency.
He is a more than handy part-time off-spinner in this Delhi Capitals all-time XI. Duminy has accounted for 13 dismissals while playing for the Delhi outfit, at a decent economy rate of 7.38. Duminy’s wicket haul for DC includes a spell of 4/17 against Sunrisers Hyderabad, the best bowling performance by an overseas player for the franchise.
7. Chris Morris
After beginning his IPL journey with Chennai Super Kings, and being part of the Rajasthan Royals, Morris found home in the form of Delhi Capitals. Thanks to his ability to bowl yorkers in the death overs, and being able to clear the boundary as a finisher, he has been one of the most consistent foreign players for the Delhi Capitals.
The South African all-rounder has a great attitude and has played a key role in Delhi’s campaigns over the last few seasons, starring with both bat and ball. Morris has scored 427 runs for Delhi Capitals at an average of 28.46. His tremendous strike rate of 160.52 is second only to Rishabh Pant among all Delhi Capitals batsmen.
With the ball, Morris has 41 scalps to his credit at an average of 24.31 and an economy rate of 8.17. His bowling strike rate of 17.8 is the best by any player in this team. He has consistently picked up 10+ wickets in almost every season. Morris’ stock in South African cricket rose after his successful IPL stint. Chris Morris would be the only genuine all-rounder in this all-time Delhi Capitals XI.
8. Umesh Yadav
Umesh Yadav has been one of the best Indian fast bowlers in IPL history and one can make a case for his inclusion in the all time XI for as many as three different IPL franchises. He plied his trade for the Delhi Capitals from 2010 to 2013 and did enough to make him the highest wicket taking Indian pace bowler for them by grabbing 47 wickets in 49 appearances.
He can clock speeds in the high 140s and swing it at the same time. He is the second highest wicket taking Indian fast bowler in IPL history, only behind Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Whilst playing for the Delhi Capitals, “Strongman” has picked up 47 wickets at an economy rate of 7.93 and an average of 29.17. It was during his stint at Delhi Capitals when he got his debut caps for India across all three formats.
He has played for Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore after his departure from the Delhi Capitals and has enjoyed successful periods of play for both those teams as well. In his IPL career, he has claimed 119 scalps in as many matches and is currently 9th on the list of most wickets.
9. Morne Morkel
Morne Morkel’s inclusion in this XI takes the tally of South African players to three, and that’s even without including the likes of AB De Villiers, Quinton de Kock and Kagiso Rabada. Morne Morkel played for the Delhi Capitals from 2011 to 2013, sandwiched between two spells for Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders.
Morne Morkel’s most prolific season came in 2012 as he picked up 25 wickets and was deservingly awarded with the purple cap for his efforts. One may argue that this spot belongs to his Proteas teammate Kagiso Rabada but Morne Morkel’s record speaks volumes. He is Delhi Capitals’ second highest wicket taker of all time and is their only player to win the purple cap award.
The lanky South African has has taken 51 wickets in 40 matches for Delhi Capitals at a strike rate of 18.5 and an economy rate of 7.52 which is great for a bowler who bowls primarily during the powerplay and the death overs. His displays for the side, which came during a transition period for the franchise were too good to be overlooked and his place in this team is justified in every regard.
10. Amit Mishra
Amit Mishra has been the standout player for the Delhi Capitals. The Haryana leg-spinner is not only the highest wicket-taker for the Delhi Capitals in the IPL, but also has the most dismissals among all Indian bowlers in the history of the league. Amit Mishra has claimed 101 wickets for Delhi Capitals at an average of 24.27 and a decent economy rate of 7.36.
He holds the record of taking three hat tricks in the IPL. One of these hat tricks came while playing for Delhi Daredevils, against his former side Deccan Chargers. He has played for the Delhi Capitals from 2008-2010 and from 2015 onwards. His most fruitful return for the Delhi Capitals came back in 2010 when he took 17 wickets.
At 37, Mishra remains a vital cog in the Delhi Capitals machinery with his wily leg-spin. Throughout the years in the IPL, he has become the second highest wicket taker in the competition, only behind Lasith Malinga. He has picked up 157 wickets in 147 matches at an economy rate of 7.35 and a strike rate of 19.75. This includes 3 four wicket hauls and one fifer.
11. Ashish Nehra
It wouldn’t be ethical if the team didn’t end with another Delhite. Ashish Nehra has played for a host of teams during an illustrious IPL career which ended in 2017. Apart from two spells with Delhi Capitals, Nehra has also played for Mumbai Indians, Pune Warriors India, Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad.
He has taken 36 wickets in 30 outings for the Delhi Capitals during his three seasons at the club. His best season came in 2009 as he picked up 19 wickets in just 13 games conceding only 6.78 runs an over at a brilliant strike rate of 16.10. In 2015, playing for Chennai Super Kings, Nehra got 22 dismissals to his name as he helped his side reach the IPL finals.
Ashish Nehra faced some competition by the likes of Zaheer Khan and Shahbaz Nadeem. But he knows the local conditions, is very economical and also fulfills the team’s need for a left-arm pacer. The veteran pacer is capable of bowling at a tight length and foxing the batsmen by changing the pace of the ball quite frequently and that’s why he is the most sensible choice.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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