Progress is the only word that one can associate with Delhi Capitals ever since the GMR-JSW things come to play. After a play-off finish post a seven-year gap, Delhi Capitals took the IPL by storm and ended up in the finals for the first time. Never mind, they lost to a rampant Mumbai Indians.
A pure look at the squad and you would be left bewildered how come this side doesn’t have a title to their name? Every department is simply phenomenal for the side with a host of Indian players that would take your breathe away. Two complete T20 pacers in the form of Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada with a host of Indian options that fill for every spot, DC is the complete embodiment of a perfect T20 side that is ready to roll once again.
The Missing Links
After releasing Alex Carey, Delhi Capitals don’t have a reserve wicket-keeper in their ranks which might be a problem if Pant suffers an injury scare. Having a back-up for that is a must as well as an overseas fast bowler. Nortje and Rabada are not sure to join the squad for the first two weeks after South Africa scheduled a series against Pakistan at home and Daniel Sams being traded to RCB, it is a position with its own unique set of challenges. Knowing Marcus Stoinis’ propensity to getting injured far too often, having a back-up for him will do a world of good.
The Dream Signing - Shivam Dube
The lack of Indian options in the market is sure to capture a lot of eyeballs on Shivam Dube who might enforce a huge bidding war than ever before. The simple fact that Dube, a capped player now, brings his three-dimensional game to the fore and can provide a few more lusty blows on a regular basis makes for a great addition. Crucially, he doesn’t even take an overseas spot that Marcus Stoinis would have while simultaneously allowing them to open with the Victorian if things come to pass. Remember, Stoinis was most successful when he opened for Melbourne Stars in the BBL and he was similarly effective last time as well.
Realistic Signings - Glenn Philips/Sam Billings
With Alex Carey now gone, Delhi Capitals need a potent wicket-keeper batsman as a back-up for Rishabh Pant. And should they look beyond Sam Billings? The English wicket-keeper, who had a terrific limited-overs summer for England, had once turned up for erstwhile Delhi Daredevils and his share of fun after that. He has tremendously grown as a player ever since and when he last featured for Chennai Super Kings, the world had a clear understanding of his impact. He can bat, he can keep and if push comes to shove, can guard the outside as an excellent fielder as well. Meanwhile, they can also look for someone like Glenn Philips, whose unorthodox style caught everyone’s attention in the last CPL as well as the Super Smash competition. Philips has a knack for big shots and his keeping is more than pleasing in T20 cricket. That will be an added bonus as Delhi puts a final touch to their auction strategy tonight.
Wildcard Signing - Nathan Ellis
With Nortje and Rabada sure to be absent for at least four games, it is a huge conundrum for the Delhi-based side. Chris Woakes is there as the overseas pacer but the simple fact that the Englishman hasn’t played any T20s since last three years, it would be better if they can hire a BBL signing and who better than Nathan Ellis to enter through the backdoor. The Hobart Hurricanes pacer had a superb Big Bash League season, picking 15 wickets in his 10 games. He will be a like-for-like replacement of Daniel Sams and can add depth to the side with his experience.
SportsCafe suggests: Billy Stanlake / Sam Billings
I know we talked about Billings previously and after contemplating a lot, I can’t still think of a better name than him to don the Blue jersey and be as impactful as Pant is for them. Billings also understands the Capitals culture and in the last couple of years, he has grown to be a fine T20 player as well. Apart from him, Billy Stanlake is another player who should be on Delhi’s radar, especially because they have a limited purse available to go for the auction. Stanlake, despite his prior experience with Sunrisers Hyderabad, is unlikely to attract huge bids and thus it is imperative for DC to keep him on their checklist.