20.03.2019 Author: C.NAMASIVAYAMThe performance of the Delhi Franchise right through IPL history had been disappointing to say the least. Year after year, the Daredevils had become the punching bag for the stronger teams. In 11 years of IPL history, the erstwhile Delhi Daredevils had reached the playoffs only on three occasions. They are yet to reach the finals of an IPL season.
The constant chopping and changing policy of the franchise never allowed the players to settle down as a team. One look at the players released by DD in the past would vouch for that. Delhi let players of the caliber of AB de Villiers, Quinton de Kock, Ross Taylor, David Warner, Tillakratne Dilshan, and Andre Russell slip off their hands. That was reflected in their horror performances across seasons.
For once, the now Delhi Capitals have got their composition perfect this time around. The fact that the old nemesis Ricky Ponting and Sourav Ganguly are joining hands to manage the franchise this year might improve their chances of success. There are three other factors which could contribute to Delhi Capitals reaching the playoffs this year.
3 Strong bowling attackIn the IPL auction 2019, the Delhi Capitals retained the overseas fast bowlers Trent Boult, Kagiso Rabada and Chris Morris. At the auction, they bought the West Indies fast bowler Keemo Paul and the Indian veteran Ishant Sharma. The existing Indian fast bowlers Avesh Khan and Harshal Patel lend a lot of depth to Delhi’s team’s fast bowling resources.
Last year Delhi was unlucky to miss out the services of Rabada for the entire season due to injury. But this year Delhi have a potent opening bowling combination with the presence of Rabada and Boult. The change bowlers Morris and Ishant Sharma are equally dangerous. Boult was Delhi’s highest wicket-taker in last year’s IPL with 18 wickets.
In spin department, the Delhi Capitals have the experienced Amit Mishra, Axar Patel and the Nepal bowler Sandeep Lamichhane in their ranks. Mishra is the second highest wicket-taker in IPL history with 146 wickets to his name. Lamichhane was Delhi’s most economical bowler last year with an economy rate of 6.83.
For the first time in IPL history, the Delhi Franchise have a balanced potent bowling line-up to restrict the opposition to a moderate total.
2 The presence of quality all-roundersThe presence of all-rounders like Chris Morris, Colin Munro, Sherfane Rutherford, Axar Patel and Hanuma Vihari in the Delhi squad has made the team that much stronger.
In IPL auction 2019, Delhi bought Axar Patel for 5 crore and the realtively unheard of West Indies all-rounder Rutherford for 2 crore. While Patel is a bowling all-rounder, Rutherford is a batting all-rounder. Similarly, they have Morris as the fast bowling all-rounder and Colin Munro as the batting all-rounder.
The Indian Test specialist Vihari too could roll his arm over as he showed in the Perth Test against Australia bowling 28 overs in the match.
Out of these five all-rounders, three of them namely Vihari, Morris and Patel are near certainties in the playing XI. Plus the presence of Rishabh Pant as a prime batsman and wicket-keeper presents the team with another all-around option of a different kind. The only regret for Delhi in this respect would be the unwise trading of another all-rounder Vijay Shankar who is in tremendous form of late.
The presence of the all-rounders would be the main strength of Delhi Capitals team this year.
1 Strong Indian top order batting line-upBefore IPL auction 2019, the Delhi Capitals traded Shikhar Dhawan from Sunrisers Hyderabad for Abhishek Sharma, Vijay Shankar, and Shahbaz Nadeem. That made Delhi’s top-order batting a formidable one. At the auction, Delhi bought Hanuma Vihari for 2 crore.
Now the Delhi’s top-order has the presence of top Indian batsmen like Prithvi Shaw, Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant and Vihari. They have the strongest top-order in this IPL comprising of Indian batsmen alone. Then they have the all-rounders Chris Morris and Axar Patel to follow. Kagiso Rabada too is no mock with the bat.
The presence of Dhawan at the top-order should change Delhi’s fortunes dramatically. The left-hand right-hand combination of Dhawan and Shaw should set the tone for Delhi this year. The only problem with Delhi every year has been their failure to get going in the initial stages of the tournament. That should change this year with the kind of team composition they have at their disposal.
The perfect winning formula in IPL for any team would be to stack the team with Indian batsmen and overseas bowlers. Delhi has done exactly that and now it is up to the selected players to come good.
The ideal Playing XI for Delhi would be: 1.Shikhar Dhawan 2. Prithvi Shaw 3. Hanuma Vihari 4. Shreyas Iyer
5. Rishabh Pant 6. Axar Patel 7. Chris Morris 8. Kagiso Rabada 9. Trent Boult 10. Sandeep Lamichhane and 11. Amit Mishra at home and Ishant Sharma in away matches.
If Delhi Capitals play to their potential, they could reach the playoffs this time around.