In young captain, Rishabh Pant and two-time World Cup-winning former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting as head coach, Delhi Capitals (DC) have been a heady combination in this ongoing IPL 2021. From winning close encounters to dominating the opposition, DC have done it all.
Delhi Capitals have grown from strength to strength over the last three years and will be aiming for their maiden IPL trophy this time. But first, they have to get past Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2021 Qualifier 1 on Sunday at Dubai International Stadium. A win against CSK will directly book DC's place in the final on October 15.
Let’s take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of Delhi Capitals.
The Shreyas Iyer Boost
Ever since a fit-again Shreyas Iyer has returned to the Delhi Capitals side in the IPL 2021, the right-hander has more or less solved DC’s middle-order frailties. The swashbuckling Iyer, who missed the IPL 2021 India leg because of a shoulder injury he suffered against England at home, has been instrumental in holding the Delhi Capitals batting at times when the top three have failed on several occasions.
Iyer’s unbeaten 33-run knock against Mumbai Indians in Sharjah is worth mentioning. Chasing 130, DC lost their top three with 30 runs on board inside the Powerplay. However, it was Iyer and Rishabh Pant’s 26 that helped DC recover and win the game by four wickets.
Pace trio of Nortje, Rabada, Khan
Despite having the likes of Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma on their roster, Delhi Capitals have been able to establish themselves as one of the best bowling attacks in the IPL 2021 largely due to the presence of South Africans Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada and rookie Avesh Khan. The trio has been successful in giving early breakthroughs for DC and has accounted for 44 wickets combined this season.
No-nonsense Ricky Ponting
When a team has Ricky Ponting as head coach, the performances are bound to be top-notch. Ever since, Ponting arrived, DC have been looked galvanised. For the record, DC have qualified for the IPL playoffs on three consecutive seasons now, both under Ponting's coaching.
Inconsistent opening pair
One of the major problems for DC this season has been their inconsistency in the opening. Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw have performed in bits and pieces this season while opening the batting and they need to get their mojo back before the Qualifier 1 vs Chennai Super Kings on Sunday.
All-rounder Marcus Stoinis’ absence
Not having all-rounder Marcus Stoinis in the middle-order has hurt Delhi Capitals dearly. Stoinis limped off the field with a hamstring strain during DC’s first game in the UAE leg. Besides his medium pace, DC also missed Stoinis’ big hits towards the end of an innings. However, Stoinis might return against CSK. Now or never!
Shimron Hetmyer flop show
Known for his big-hitting, Guyanese Shimron Hetmyer has been a complete flop this time. Hetmyer played in six games in the UAE leg with his scores reading 29, 28*, 15, 4 and 28. He did not bat in one match. The West Indian is a fun-loving team man but what DC will need are his quick runs in the death overs.