Delhi Capitals (DC) have been the under-achievers in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL). On a number of instances, they ended the T20 league as the cellar dwellers, much to their disappointment. Nevertheless, in the previous season, the franchise came out firing on all cylinders.
The Shreyas Iyer-led unit finished third on the points table after nine victories from 14 matches. The team soared above the expectations and garnered loads of praises, though they couldn’t make the finals. Going into the auction, the Capitals had a purse of INR 27.85 crores with 11 slots to be filled.
DC went hammer and tongs for Shimron Hetmyer and Marcus Stoinis and got them at heavy prices. Now going into the league, the Capitals need to do a lot of homework to field their best combination.
In the article, let’s take a look at the Predicted XI of DC for IPL 2020:-
Shikhar Dhawan was traded in by the Capitals from the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). The move didn’t backfire by any means as the southpaw turned out to be his team’s leading run-scorer last season. In 16 matches, the left-hander amassed 521 runs at an average of 34.73.
Quite often, he played the sheet anchor’s role, yet his strike-rate was up there at 135.46, showing his ability to shift gears. Dhawan also got five half-centuries with a top score of an unbeaten 97 against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
In his 12-year T20 career, the score remains to be his highest in the format. Dhawan opening the batting means Ajinkya Rahane, who was traded in from the Rajasthan Royals (RR), may have to warm the bench since both batters have similar style of play.
Prithvi Shaw’s fearless approach came to the fore in the 2018 edition of the IPL when he replaced Gautam Gambhir in the lineup. Hence, the Capitals didn’t have any second thought about persisting with him as an opener even in 2019. Shaw didn’t let his team down and scored 353 runs in 16 games at a strike-rate of 133.71.
In the early stage of the tournament, he got match-winning 99 versus KKR. Though he was a tad rusty in the middle stage of the T20 league, the 20-year-old upped his game in the latter stages of the tournament.
Shaw would wish to work on his strike-rate, which was 133.71 last season, less than his career strike-rate of 149.07. The Thane-born scored three fifties in the 2019-20 SMAT. With Shaw and Dhawan as the openers, Jason Roy may not be an outright starter.
Shimron Hetmyer was one of the players to watch out for in the previous season, especially after his performances in the ODI series in India in October 2018. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) bagged him, but he couldn’t live up to the expectations.
Virat Kohli and Co included him in the eleven from the outset, but Hetmyer found some way or the other to get himself out cheaply, much to his agony. The Guyana-born managed a 47-ball 75 against SRH, but by then RCB were already shown the door of elimination. After a poor season, RCB released him and he entered the auction at INR 50 lakhs.
KKR, Royals and the Capitals went after him and the latter bagged him for INR 7.75 crores. Hetmyer recently scored 139 versus India and it won’t be a surprise if DC include him right away in the eleven.
Shreyas Iyer (C)
Shreyas Iyer took over from Gambhir as Delhi’s skipper midway through the 2018 season and hasn’t flattered to deceive. The Capitals have mostly finished at the bottom of the points table in the history of the IPL. But last season was different as Iyer’s men advanced to the Qualifier 2 where they lost to the Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
At one point in time, DC also found themselves at the top. The 25-year-old stepped up with the bat as well, scoring 463 runs with three fifties to show for his efforts. Parth Jindal, the Chairman of the Capitals, lately confirmed that Iyer will continue to lead the side in the upcoming IPL as well.
The Mumbai-born has done well for India of late and has stepped up for his domestic side as well. He is expected to be full of confidence going into the next IPL.
Rishabh Pant (wk)
Rishabh Pant has been the X-factor in the Capitals lineup without a doubt. At times when the required rate mounted alarmingly in steep run-chases, the Young Turk churned out some outrageous strokes and shouldered his team to safer shores.
Last season, the southpaw scored 488 runs at an average of 37.53 with a top score of an unbeaten 27-ball 78 against Mumbai Indians (MI). The fact that he smashed 27 sixes at a strike-rate of 162.66 made him a brute force to reckon with.
Pant also has a couple of T20 centuries, one of which came in the 2018 IPL while playing against the Sunrisers at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi. The Uttarakhand-born has recently started showing his class for Team India and he will be keen to carry the confidence to the IPL 2020 as well.
Marcus Stoinis was traded in by the RCB in the last season and the move didn’t quite work out. Albeit the Perth-born scored 211 runs at 52.75, quite often he failed to step on the gas in the hour of need. The 30-year-old mostly batted in the middle-order due to RCB’s star-studded batting.
Hence, ahead of the auction, the Challengers let him go and he went to the auction at INR 1 crore. DC and the RR were involved in a bidding war after which the former got him in at INR 4.80 crores. Even in DC, Stoinis may have to bat in the middle.
Stoinis’ inclusion is likely to make it tough for Chris Woakes to get into the eleven. On Delhi pitches, which tends to get slower, Stoinis’ cutters can also come in handy. In 98 T20s, he has 61 wickets, though he could get only a couple of scalps last time.
Ravi Ashwin was innovative as a skipper, representing the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in the last two seasons. On the back of his leadership, KXIP started both the editions with a string of victories. However, the Punjab franchise lost momentum and failed to qualify for the playoffs.
Thereafter, KXIP released Ashwin off his services and appointed KL Rahul as the skipper for the next season. The Kings also traded Ashwin to the Capitals, who already have some quality spinners in their ranks. Ashwin has a truckload of experience in the IPL, having picked 125 wickets at an economy of 6.79.
Ashwin is also a more than handy prospect with the bat and can get the big shots going. Over the time being, he has added quite a few variations to his bowling repertoire that has helped him to a large extent.
Kagiso Rabada’s moment of the last IPL came when he castled a fuming Andre Russell in the Super Over to help the Capitals prevail in the humdinger in New Delhi. Rabada missed the 2018 edition of the IPL, but made a strong comeback, picking up 25 wickets in 12 matches at a strike-rate of 11.2.
Whenever Iyer needed to stem the run flow, he called upon the South Africa pacer, who more or less delivered. Had he played all the games, Rabada could’ve ended as the leading wicket-taker of the tournament. He also managed to get a couple of four-wicket hauls.
This year has been a tad indifferent for Rabada though. He didn’t have the best of World Cups and couldn’t make much of an impact for the Jozi Stars in the MSL. But bearing in mind his quality, it’s a matter of time before he finds rhythm.
Amit Mishra is only second to Lasith Malinga in the list of leading wicket-takers in the IPL. With 157 wickets from 147 games, the veteran doesn’t have dearth of experience. He is 37 years old, but hasn’t lost his guile to outfox the best in the business. Mishra played a crucial role in the Capitals’ campaign last time.
The tweaker managed 11 wickets from as many games at an economy of 6.75. His best figures of 3/13 came against the Rajasthan Royals at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi. Mishra became the Player of the Match after DC won by five wickets.
The Delhi-born tweaker couldn’t get a whole lot of wickets in the 2019-20 SMAT, but he didn’t give away a whole of runs either. The Capitals will be hoping for their premier spinner to come to the party next season.
From 2014 to 2018, Ishant Sharma’s IPL career went into the doldrums. In 2017, he played six matches and didn’t get a single wicket, leaking runs at 9.94. In the next season, the lanky fast bowler remained unsold at a base price of a mere INR 75 lakhs.
However, in 2019, the Capitals drafted in the 31-year-old pacer at INR 1.10 crore. The decision was a bit of a gamble, but it paid off to a great extent. Pairing in with Rabada in the pace unit, Ishant ruffled a few feathers. He picked up 13 wickets in as many games at an economy of 7.58.
From there, Ishant grew in confidence and it showed even when he donned Team India’s jersey. The last season turned Ishant’s IPL career around and he was retained by the Capitals ahead of the auction. He will be keen to carry on from where he left last time.
Sandeep Lamichhane was brought by the Delhi team back in 2018 for his base price of INR 20 lakhs. The Nepal spinner got chances in only three games where he made the batsmen work hard for their runs. Even in the last season, he was entrusted to play on six contests.
Back then, the teenager picked eight wickets at an economy of 9.13 with best figures of 3/40 against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). Despite not giving him adequate opportunities, DC retained Sandeep for the next season. At the age of 19, Sandeep also has an experience of 62 where he has picked 72 wickets.
Delhi may include him as the third spin-bowling option along with Mishra and Ashwin keeping in mind, the nature of the decks in Delhi. Lamichhane is currently with the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League (BBL).
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