Delhi Capitals have come good towards the business end of the tournament and it seems like things are falling in place for them after a start-stop kind of IPL 2022. With the Rishabh Pant-led side winning games at a crucial stage in the tournament can they lift the coveted IPL trophy this season?
They say cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties. Cricket is the most-watched and loved sport in India and it unites people from all walks of life. Almost everybody has an opinion about the game which just shows how passionate people are about it in India. In a cricket-loving nation like ours, a tournament like the Indian Premier League is the most-watched sports league in the country. It has everything that a fan wants and the quality of the matches has only gone up since its inception. IPL ratings have skyrocketed since it first began in 2008 and the coming together of Indian cricketers and foreign players make it even better for the fans who never even thought that something like this was possible 15 years ago.
The Indian Premier League is the most-watched cricket league in the world and the kind of matches that the league has produced over the years have been nothing short of spectacular. From super overs to nail-biting finishes the IPL has seen it all. The cash-rich league has featured legends like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag to Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist and the late great Shane Warne. The list is endless and along with greats like these, the league has also seen young uncapped players from the country coming and performing brilliantly so much so that many of them getting called up for the Indian team. This is the kind of range that the Indian Premier League has given to us.
But this year, the IPL which used to be traditionally an eight-team tournament has now become a ten-team event. Gujarat Titas and Lucknow Super Giants are the two news teams who have done brilliantly in their debut season. No one thought that both teams will be in the race to win the trophy this season and yet they are. That is the beauty of the Indian Premier League and almost no one can predict what will happen in the tournament.
Just like no one expected the two debutant teams to be in the race for the title fans also did not think that Delhi Capitals will be able to qualify for the playoffs. Yet, the Rishabh Pant-led Delhi Capitals are suddenly looking like a team that will reach the playoffs and can do much more. The win against Punjab Kings was the first time in the season that Delhi Capitals won two consecutive games.
The franchise had been struggling to find a rhythm throughout the tournament but was just not able to do it. They lost a few close games but they kept coming back and found a way to win. Delhi Capitals' win against Punjab Kings has given them a huge boost as the team is now in the top four on the points table and with the kind of net run rate that they have, it might be difficult for others to catch up to them.
With one game remaining of the Delhi Capitals against Mumbai Indians. Rishabh Pant's team will go all out in that game as every game is a knockout match for them. If they manage to defeat the five-time champions then they will be through to the playoffs. This is because they have a superior net run rate to RCB. So even if RCB wins their final match it may not guarantee them a spot in the playoffs.
Some people might think reaching the playoffs is not unthinkable for the Delhi Capitals. But, I am asking the bigger question here, can they win the IPL trophy this year? Are they the underdogs who can go on to lift the title in IPL 2022 and make history by winning their first one?
Here is an interestu=ing statistic for all the fans of the game. The Delhi Capitals for the last three seasons have managed to reach the playoffs consistently. If you go back to 2019, you will see that DC finished third on the points table. The following year i.e. 2020, they again reached the playoffs and were number two. In 2021, they were the table-toppers in the cash-rich league.
However, this time if they finish fourth, this will be the fourth time in a row that they will be qualifying for the playoffs. In the history of the IPL, Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals have been two teams who won the title after topping the points table in the league stage.
It's not to say that Gujarat Titans can't win the title because they definitely can. But the question is will they be able to handle the pressure of the playoffs? because in games like these even the best falter. The thing that is going in favour of the Delhi Capitals is the fact that they have experience of being in the playoffs for three consecutive years now. Rishabh Pant and his side have players who have been in such situations and can definitely come out on top in matches like these.
Delhi Capitals can do the unthinkable because they are really peaking at the right moment and winning the trophy from here will be much like a dream come true for Rishabh Pant and his team.