The Delhi Capitals franchise has yet to win an IPL title so will be hungry to end the 12-year barren run in the 2020 edition of the IPL. Renamed the Delhi Capitals after previously being known as the Delhi Daredevils, the franchise was bought for $84 million by the GMR group (an infrastructural company). The group then sold a 50% stake in the franchise to the JSW group (a business conglomerate) in 2018 for $77 million.
Their home, located in New Delhi, is the 41,820-seater Arun-Jaitley stadium, with their secondary stadium being the third largest in India and fourth largest in the world with the 65,000-seater Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Cricket Stadium.
Right-handed, top order batman, Shreyas Iyer leads the side with richly-experienced Australian Ricky Ponting head coach. Here are some interesting stats and facts that may catch your eye:
– Formerly known as the Delhi Daredevils but the owners wanted to resonate with the whole city so they renamed the franchise.
– In 13 seasons, they achieved their best finish of runners-up in 2020 but their previous best before that was third place.
– Their worst record is against Chennai Super Kings, whom they have only beaten 8 times in 23 matches with a win percentage of 34.78%.
– The team they perform best against – apart from the now defunct Gujarat Lions – is Kolkata Knight Riders, with a 52.17% win rate over their 23 meetings.
The Delhi Capitals have an array of talent in their roster and here are some of the most vital players.
With an outstanding record of 61 wickets in his three seasons in the IPL, Rabada has established himself as one of the best pace bowlers in world cricket.
Rabada has had a meteoric rise, topping the ICC ODI and Test bowling rankings by the age of 22 and holds the record for the youngest player to reach 150 wickets and is widely recognised as one of the best bowlers in the world in all formats.
Vastly experienced top-order batsman Dharwan has been a constant IPL run machine ever since the inaugural season in 2008 right through to present day. Regularly called upon to provide the extra piece of brilliance in those crunch matches, Dharwan has racked up over 4,500 runs with 37 half-centuries.
He had a stunning campaign in 2020, becoming the first player in the history of the IPL to hit back-to-back centuries and earned himself a recall to the national team. After topping 600 runs for the first time in a single campaign, Dhawan is in the form of his life and will have a crucial role to play as a senior player.
The hottest property in world cricket after his performances against Australia and England in an India shirt, Pant will be hoping to lead from the front after being named captain of the Capitals for 2021 in the absence of Shreyas Iyer. His big-hitting, flair and unorthodox shots make him unmissable with the bat as he looks to establish his reputation as one of the most destructive players in the world game.
He struggled in the 2020 tournament but bounced back strongly in the international arena and if his form in India is anything to go by, it could be a season like 2018 for Pant, when he scored 684 runs at 52.61 with an incredible strike rate of 173.60.
Other players to look for
Ishant Sharma – With almost 300 Test wickets, Sharma is still improving as a pace bowler and has become one of the most reliable players in the league.
Prithvi Shaw – Shaw is a precociously talented batsman who has taken to the big stage in impressive fashion, earning comparisons to Virender Sehwag. He has the ability to take apart any attack on any given day.
Axar Patel – The all-rounder is handy with the bat and ball and can really make an impact in a game having gained experience all round the world. He was bought for a huge 5 crore in 2019 by the Delhi Capitals.
The Delhi capitals spent big on some players in the auction and also managed to get some crucial trades in too, here are some of the highlights:
Smith was surprisingly released by Rajasthan Royals in the close season and snapped up by the Capitals at a cut price. It remains to be seen how he will fit into an already successful and explosive batting line-up, but with over 2,000 IPL runs at an average of 35.34 before the 2021 season, he is a reliable player to have around.
The English wicketkeeper-batsman looks likely to be backup for Pant this season, but is a solid buy for the Capitals who welcome Billings back for the second time after a spell earlier in his career. He showed signs of maturing in England’s ODI series against Australia last year and will be looking to nail down a place ahead of the World T20 later in the year.
Curran has had a tricky year, often proving very expensive at the end of T20 or ODI games and subsequently losing his Rajasthan Royals contract. He was picked up at a high price by the Capitals such is his ability to bowl at the death, but they will be hoping he can find some form again after a tough 12 months.
Others new players who could make an impact
Chris Woakes – Pulled out of the tournament last year due to bubble fatigue and a desire to spend more time at home, but Woakes – who originally signed before last year’s edition – is a trusty all-rounder who can do a job at any stage of the innings. Could prove a big hit if he gets a chance.
Going into his third season as coach for the Delhi Capitals, Ricky Ponting could have a realistic chance of guiding his talented side to their first IPL success.
A brilliant batsman in his day, he led what is generally considered to be one of the greatest Test sides of all time with the mid-00s Australia team. He made over 26,000 international runs over a 17-year career to establish his place in the cricketing hall of fame, while also boasting a win percentage of 67.91% while captain.
His experience and know-how at the top level could be the perfect foil to what is a supremely talented but at times naive team that is capable of going all the way.
Chances of Success in 2021?
Delhi Capitals are backed to produce a similar performance last year, with cricket specialists Bet365 rating them as second favourites to win the tournament and offering them pre-tournament odds of 5/1 behind last year’s winners Mumbai Indians.