NOT A VERY FAN-FAVORITE TEAM
Nothing wrong in calling this team, the least successful team in the IPL history. While they initially started well under Virender Sehwag, the last 6 seasons have been utter chaos for Delhi. Needless to mention, they have never reached the finals of the IPL. Their best finish in the last 6 seasons was a 6th spot finish in seasons 2016 and 2017.
They expected fortunes to change in the year 2018 after the local lad and IPL Legend Gautam Gambhir opted to play for the franchise. Things didn’t go as planned and Gambhir stepped down as the captain after a miserable start to the campaign.
However, things are different now. GMR, the original owners of Delhi Daredevils franchise have sold 50% of the stake to JSW Sports. Changes followed which were not just limited to the name of the team. Sourav Ganguly was roped in as the team mentor to guide the very young Delhi Capitals team led by Shreyas Iyer.
A POSITIVE START THIS SEASON
Thanks to the Rishabh Pant blitzkrieg of 78 in just 27 deliveries, Delhi Capitals started their IPL 2019 campaign on a high. They defeated the mighty Mumbai Indians at their own den by 37 runs, which is a huge margin in this format. Also, we’ve seen a disciplined bowling effort from the pacers, more specifically from Ishant Sharma and Kagiso Rabada.
Things didn’t go as planned when Delhi returned to Kotla to play the defending champions, Chennai Super Kings. The batting didn’t fire and a mediocre 147 was chased down easily by the yellow brigade.
Delhi played Kolkata next in what was perhaps the best game of this year’s IPL. We saw brilliance from Prithvi Shaw. However, his 99 couldn’t ensure a win for the home team. The game ended as a tie, and Delhi managed to win in the super over, thanks to a brilliant bowling display from Rabada in the super over.
The Delhi Capitals travelled to Mohali and managed to limit Punjab to a decent 166. Losing Shaw early, Delhi managed to sail through with Pant, Shreyas and Dhawan – all stepping up to the occasion. Chasing 167, Delhi at one stage were 144-3, with just 23 runs to get from 21 deliveries. What we saw next, was utter chaos. Reminded fans of the ‘Old Delhi’ (Not the place, but the team). Delhi lost the next 7 wickets for 8 runs. The players and fans were in utter disbelieve & a young Sam Curran produced one of the finest bowling spells this year. Complacency has a price to pay, after all.
Delhi returned home next and disappointed their home fans, yet again. Sunrisers Hyderabad’s bowling line up proved to be too much for the young batting line up. Managed to score just 129 which SRH chased in 18.3 overs.
The youngsters stood firm up when they played RCB who themselves are in dire need of a win. Rabada picked 4 crucial wickets and RCB scored a meagre 149 which is undoubtedly a below-par score on the Chinnaswamy pitch. Capitals with 7 more to get lost 3 wickets for 2 runs towards the end, however, managed to sail past the target.
KAGISO RABADA – THE BEST IN THE WORLD
At 20, Kagiso Rabada has flourished to be one of the finest fast bowlers in the world. The youngster is an absolute treat to watch & currently is the purple cap holder with 11 wickets in 6 games. There’s always been a hint of speculation as to who the best in the world is? Jasprit Bumrah or Kagiso Rabada? The pendulum certainly swings vividly when this question is put forth. Kagiso Rabada’s super over against Andre Russell was by far the best in the league & also a testament to this pacer’s talent. How much better can he get? If Delhi reach the top 4, they’ll have this man to thank.
Lowest total defended in a Super Over in IPL
10 – DC v KKR by Kagiso Rabada
11 – MI v GL in 2017 by Jasprit Bumrah
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM DELHI CAPITALS?
Delhi is a team which relies very less on its foreign batting talent. And the young Indians have been doing a great job so far. While Shreyas, Prithvi and Pant have all taken responsibilities – it’s high time, the experienced Shikhar Dhawan starts firing and puts some runs on the board. It’ been a forgettable IPL for the southpaw as he has just scored 152 runs of 6 games, last being a duck against RCB. While these performances may not influence the selectors, Shikhar has to be mindful of the form that he carries to the World Cup.
With Trent Boult sitting out for most of the games, making way for Sandeep Lamichchanne – Delhi would now look forward to not experiment much with the bowling line-up. Kagiso Rabada is their bowling MVP and Axar Patel has not only added runs with the bat but also is doing his bit exploring the spin on the Kotla wicket.
Currently sitting at the 5th spot, with 3 wins from 6 games. Delhi need 5 wins from their next 8 to qualify (4 may do in many cases). But what the Capitals need to not forget is that they would be facing the current TOP 3 of Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata – all away from home.
To put into perspective, they play 4 home games of which two are against Bangalore and Rajasthan, both teams which are currently sitting at the bottom of the table. They look forward to beating Punjab and Mumbai at Feroz Shah Kotla and make the most of the home advantage. Further, Delhi play twice against Rajasthan and once against Bangalore in their last leg of four games. While they may not like to step up at the last moment-it’s an advantage which the teams should be mindful about. Delhi truly have the right combinations to surprise the fans and storm into the playoffs for the first time since 2012.
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