Delhi Capitals, being the only team having not played the finals of the Indian Premier League, have only been good on paper, not displaying the same dominance on the field. Last year, they did manage to reach the knockouts after seven years, but can they display a similar performance this year?
Over the years, the Delhi-based franchise seem to have got everything right outside the field in terms of managing their team but on-field they have shown a tendency to choke at crucial moments. They pick all the right players from Kevin Pietersen to AB de Villiers, but their on-paper dominance could never be converted into a trophy. Akin to Belgium’s run in FIFA competitions, where they are always considered to be contenders, but fail to get any silverware.
Last season they finished 3rd in the league stage and went on to win the Eliminator as well against Sunrisers Hyderabad by two wickets but lost to Chennai Super Kings in the Qualifier by 6 wickets and one over to spare. Considering this, their bet of revamping the team seems to have paid off last season after they built a young team around Shreyas Iyer but changing the name and jersey could very well be the real reason for their success. (Because why not)
The top three, Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, and Shreyas Iyer of Delhi Capitals were another reason why they were able to post some huge totals on the board, the highest being 213 in the first match against Mumbai Indians. This dynamic trio contributed 60.58% of the total runs scored last year by DC, displaying their dependency on the top three and also goes to show the solid form of their batsmen.
Powerplays have been another strength of DC, where they have scored on an average of 50.71 runs losing only 1.21 wickets in the whole season last year. While their batting has been able to take full advantage of powerplays, they have not been able to replicate the same with their bowling, conceding on an average of 46.92 runs without being critical in the wickets column as well picking up wickets at an average of 1.42 in IPL 2019.
In the death overs as well they lagged behind their opponents, by scoring close to 39 runs on an average in the whole season while conceded at the rate of 45.28. This clearly shows the need for them to be more economical from the bowling point of view as their batting has done pretty decently and with the addition of Ajinkya Rahane, they should be even more consistent and stable in the middle order.
Despite all the doubts and uncertainties surrounding their performance, one thing that can be promised is entertainment for the fans as they scored the majority of their runs in boundaries. Last year, they scored 66.43% of the total runs in boundaries, smashing 87 sixes and 236 fours in the process. On the bowling front, they have added Ravichandran Ashwin in the squad, who will be helpful in stopping the occasional slump from the bowlers along with Kagiso Rabada, who was their highest-taker last year taking 25 wickets. They did alright in the death overs in terms of wickets, picking almost 3 wickets on an average per match.
Batting is undoubtedly their strong suit, backed by a strong support staff headed by Ricky Ponting, but their bowling hasn’t done that well when compared to their batting in the previous edition. The new additions will definitely bring in much more experience in the young squad but they will have to beat their ability to choke in the crucial games in order to get their hands on the trophy. This season could very well be a repeat of the initial seasons of Delhi based franchise, where they performed only on paper, however, DC has shown some glimpses of becoming a world-class team. There is no weakness in the team as such but the major question that surrounds them is whether they will show us a recap of Delhi we know or build on their run of last season.
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