The grandest T20 tournament is finally here – Indian Premier League 2019 kicks off on 23rd March. BCCI released the time table of first 17 matches and rest of the schedule will be announced in the upcoming few days.
Delhi Dardevils were renamed as Delhi Capitals. Delhi Capitals (formerly known as Delhi Dardevils) have never won an IPL trophy and Delhi fanbase will be hoping for a better show this time around. Shikhar Dhawan will play for Delhi Capitals once again.
Ex-Australia player Ricky Ponting will continue as Delhi’s coach for IPL 2019 and Shreyas Iyer has been given the captaincy role.
New Name, New Logo – Change Of Fortunes?
Since IPL’s inception, Delhi has finished last 4 times out of 11 which is the most for an IPL team. The franchisee has bagged some of the biggest names in T20 format over the years but they have tasted no success whatsoever.
Delhi Capitals purchased a total of ten cricketers at the IPL Auction 2019 in November. They bought South Africa’s big-hitting batsman Colin Ingram for Rs 6.40 crore, Axar Patel for Rs 5 crore, Sherfane Rutherford for Rs 2 crore, Hanuma Vihari for Rs 2 crore and Ishant Sharma for Rs 1.10 crore.
With new name, new management and new captain, here is a list of 3 reasons how Delhi Capitals can end their 11 years title drought –
#1 Strong Opening Pair
Delhi have failed to replace the exquisite opening partnership of Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag from the opening few seasons of IPL.
Openers need to give a solid foundation consistently if a team wants to show their title credentials.
Prithvi Shaw has made a real buzz ever since his test debut against West Indies. He scored 237 runs in 3 innings averaging 118.5 and fans tagged him as ‘The Next Sachin Tendulkar’ because of his style of play.
He has been such a phenomenon that Shikhar Dhawan got dropped for the 19-year-old in the test series against Australia.
Shikhar Dhawan has returned back home and Delhi fans can’t get enough of the fact that their ‘prodigal son’ will play for the franchisee in IPL 2019.
Delhi also have Colin Munro who is currently 2nd in ICC T20I batsmen rankings. He did not click last year but once he gets going, there’s no one stopping The Kiwi star.
#2 Reliable Middle Order – The Game Changers
Much of Delhi’s fate will depend on how Rishabh Pant fares in the upcoming season. He is a regular first teamer for India now. He also finished as the 2nd highest run scorer in IPL 2018.
37 – Rishabh Pant hit the most number of sixes in IPL 2018 for a single player.
The left-handed wicket-keeper batsman scored 684 runs averaging 52.61 at a strike rate of 173.8 in IPL 2018. Delhi’s new captain Shreyas Iyer also had a decent run with the bat last year. Delhi have further strengthened their batting by purchasing Colin Ingram who is a T20 specialist.
They also have Windies teenage sensation Sherfane Rutherford who possesses the ability to hit it out of the park with ease. The left-handed Windies batsman is more suited to opening.
#3 Quality Death Bowlers
Delhi had serious injury issues in the bowling department in IPL 2018. Chris Morris just played 4 matches in IPL 2018. He was injured for the major part of the tournament due to back injury.
Proteas bowler Kagiso Rabada did not play any part in IPL 2018.
18-year-old Sandeep Lamichhane is a T20 revelation. He had a wonderful Big Bash League 2018/19. He picked 8 wickets in 8 matches at an economy of just 6.57.
In IPL 2019, Lamichhane did not get his fair share of chances. He picked 5 wickets in 3 matches at an economy of 6.83 in IPL 2018. Above all this, Amit Mishra’s experience will prove to be invaluable.
Delhi Capitals squad:
Shreyas Iyer (C), Prithvi Shaw, Rishabh Pant, Manjot Kalra, Colin Munro, Chris Morris, Bandaru Ayyappa, Rahul Tewatia, Harshal Patel, Amit Mishra, Hanuma Vihari, Axar Patel, Ishant Sharma, Ankush Bains, Nathu Singh, Colin Ingram, Sherfane Rutherford, Keemo Paul, Jalaj Saxena, Kagiso Rabada, Trent Boult, Sandeep Lamichhane, Avesh Khan and Shikhar Dhawan