Delhi Capitals’ turnaround in the last couple of years has once again made them a force to reckon with. They finished third in IPL 2019 and bettered it by reaching the final of the subsequent edition, where they were outclassed by Mumbai Indians (MI). If their upward trend continues, this might be the season they take one giant leap to clinch the maiden IPL trophy.
However, the franchise has already suffered a major setback that can derail its grand plan. Shreyas Iyer, whose appointment as the captain in 2018 kickstarted the purple patch for the club, will be missing out on action due to a shoulder injury. Losing the helmsman of machinery operating at the peak of its power can be a bit disorientating for the rest of the crews.
In Shreyas’ absence, Rishabh Pant has been named as a new captain. The kind of form he is in currently, even his harshest detractors wouldn’t doubt the move. Whatever he touched in the last few months has turned into gold. Pant’s no-holds-barred approach is likely to be a testing proposition for the opponents.
DC’s most notable acquisition in the auction this year was of Steve Smith and Tom Curran. They also acquired Umesh Yadav to strengthen their pace department.
— Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) April 5, 2021
Delhi Capital’s ideal XI in IPL 2021:
Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw will open the innings for DC. Dhawan finished the last season as the leading run-getter for the side, scoring over 600 runs with the help of two consecutive centuries. Shaw has finally laid all doubts about his ominous form to rest after putting on a stellar show in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. A lot will hinge on both to provide an explosive start to their team.
Shreyas Iyer’s absence has left a gaping void in the middle-order. Delhi Capitals is likely to go ahead with Ajinkya Rahane at No 3, followed by skipper Pant and Shimron Hetmyer. They also have Steve Smith but he is unlikely to get a nod until Rahane fails to do his job.
If missing Shreyas was not enough, DC faces a double whammy after Axar Patel returned positive for COVID-19. The all-rounder will miss the initial stage of the league. DC might replace him with Lalit Yadav, who can play fearless cameo and bowl off-spin. Marcus Stoinis will play a crucial role as a fast-bowling all-rounder.
The South African duo of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje will spearhead the pace attack for the franchise. Rabada picked up 30 wickets last season while his compatriot Nortje had 22 to his name. While these two were relentless throughout the tournament, Delhi Capitals missed the same incision from their third seamer, after Ishant Sharma was ruled out of IPL 2020 after just one game. Ishant is available this season and he is likely to be rotated with Umesh Yadav.
DC’s playing XI:
Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (c&wk), Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel/Lalit Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Ishant Sharma
DC’s full squad for IPL 2021:
Rishabh Pant (c&wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Ishant Sharma, Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Ravichandran Ashwin, Lalit Yadav, Pravin Dubey, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Chris Woakes, Steve Smith, Umesh Yadav, Ripal Patel, Vishnu Vinod, Lukman Hussain Meriwala, M Siddharth, Tom Curran, Sam Billings
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