Delhi Capitals Team Preview IPL 2023: Delhi Capitals have been perennial underachievers in the Indian Premier League (IPL). The likes of Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, David Warner, Tillakarante Dilshan, AB de Villiers, Kevin Pietersen, Glenn McGrath, Shikhar Dhawan and Morne Morkel have been part of the franchise at different times. However, Delhi Capitals are yet to win an IPL crown even after 15 years of trying and twice they had topped the group stages (2012 and 2021) only to fluff their lines in the qualifiers. Their best result to date remains the runners-up finish in 2020 when they lost by five wickets to Mumbai Indians.
This year, however, could well be different for the Delhi franchise, which has gone for a good mix of experience and youth. They bought a host of players in the IPL mini-auction in December last year, including veteran pacer Ishant Sharma, who, along with Warner and Mitchell Marsh will add a great deal of experience to the side. The Delhi franchise also picked up seasoned IPL campaigner Manish Pandey, the hard-hitting South African Rilee Rossouw, England wicketkeeper-batter Phil Salt and the promising Bengal bowler Mukesh Kumar.
The fact that the Capitals paid much higher than the base price for Pandey, Rossouw and Mukesh perhaps points to the fact that they have big plans for these players in the upcoming season.
And, two X-factors in the Delhi ranks in the master strategist Sourav Ganguly, who has been roped in as the Director of Cricket, and the two-time ICC World Cup-winning former Australian captain Ricky Ponting continuing as head coach.
However, for all the positives, the biggest setback for the franchise this season is the unavailability of their regular captain and talismanic wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant, who was put out of action after suffering a horrendous car accident late last year. Both Ganguly and Ponting accepted that Pant’s absence would be a huge loss. However, Delhi will be desperate to find a workaround and Sarfaraz Khan, who has been in great form in the domestic circuit, will probably have to step into Pant’s shoes as wicketkeeper-batter, while Warner, who had won led Sunrisers Hyderabad to their maiden IPL title in 2016, will be taking over the mantle of captaincy. Incidentally, the swashbuckling Australian started his IPL career in 2009 with the Delhi franchise.
“They are looking good, actually. They need match time. Nets are good but match is most important. They have been with me before the start of this camp thrice. So I have worked with them there. We want to get into match mode,” Ganguly said on Delhi’s bunch of youngsters. In a year that the women’s team of the franchise reached the final of the Women’s Premier League, the men’s team will be looking to go one better.
How They Fared Last Time
Delhi Capitals had a modest harvest last year, finishing out of the playoff bracket. They were fifth out of 10 teams, having won seven and lost seven matches. Considering the individual performances they had last year, it was a disappointing end to the season. Warner was the standout batter for the Capitals last year and was ably supported by the young guns Prithvi Shaw and Axar Patel. Marsh played some impactful innings, while spinner Kuldeep Yadav and Bangladeshi pace ace Mustafizur Rahman impressed with the ball.
West Indies’ Rovman Powell also chipped in with handy knocks from time to time. DC started with a bang by beating five-time champions Mumbai Indians, but could never be consistent and the only time that they could string together two wins on the trot was at the very end of their campaign. The final outcome, as a result, was expectedly poor.
Top Player(s) to Watch Out For
David Warner: The new captain has been one of the most successful players in IPL history. Apart from his achievement as a captain in the orange jersey of the SRH, Warner has won the Orange Cap thrice for being the highest run-getter: in 2015 (562 runs), 2017 (641 runs) and 2019 (692 runs). He could have won the Orange Cap in 2016 too, having scored an unbelievable 848 runs, but Virat Kohli had other ideas. Warner is the third-highest run-getter in the history of the IPL after Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan. He amassed 432 runs last year and his knocks of 66 off 38 balls against Royal Challengers Bangalore, 60* off 30 balls against Punjab Kings and 92* off 58 balls against SRH stood out.
Prithvi Shaw: He was another top performer for the DC last year, scoring 283 runs in 10 matches at a handsome strike rate of 152.97. His best knocks last year included 61 off 34 balls against Lucknow Super Giants, 51 off 29 balls against Kolkata Knight Riders and 41 off 20 balls against Punjab Kings. The 2018 U-19 World Cup-winning captain has had fitness and off-field issues of late, but Delhi Capitals coach Ponting has a lot of faith in him. “He has trained harder and better than I have ever seen. I am pretty sure leading into the IPL, he is in better physical shape than what I have seen him ever before. This is going to be his biggest season ever in the IPL. He has that different look in his eyes, you can see that he is probably hungrier than ever,” Ponting said during a team event. When Shaw gets going, he can take the game away from the opposition pretty quickly.
Mitchell Marsh: The lanky Australian allrounder pounded the Indian bowling to dust in the three-match ODI series that got over earlier this month. Marsh was the highest run-getter in the series with a tally of 194 runs at a tremendous average of 97. He scored 81 off 65 balls in the 1st ODI in Mumbai and followed it up with a 36-ball unbeaten 66 in Visakhapatnam. The last match of the series yielded a run-a-ball 47. “I don’t think I’ve seen him bat better than he is right now. I think that ODI form although as an opener that we saw in this last series against India is exactly the way that we wanted to play for the Delhi Capitals,” Ponting said about Marsh. He provides a good pace bowling option too, having taken 24 wickets in the IPL at an impressive strike rate (balls bowled per wicket taken) of 16.29 and an average (runs conceded per wicket taken) of 21.75.
Axar Patel: The allrounder has been in sublime form, especially with the bat for India in recent times. He had scores of 84, 74 and 79 in the recently-concluded Test series against Australia. His bowling has been tidy too, both in the Test series and the ODI series against the Australians. Axar scored 182 useful runs for the DC last year at a strike-rate of 151.67. His standout knocks included an unbeaten 42 off 24 deliveries versus Lucknow Super Giants and an unbeaten 38 off 17 balls against Mumbai Indians. He was good with his left-arm orthodox spin too and his best performance came against Punjab Kings which saw him bag a couple of wickets by giving away just 10 runs off his four overs. The responsibility of being Warner’s deputy will give him added motivation.
Strongest Playing XI
David Warner (C), Prithvi Shaw, Mitchell Marsh, Rilee Rossouw, Axar Patel, Lalit Yadav, Sarfaraz Khan (wk), Kuldeep Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Khaleel Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman.
Full Squad: David Warner (C), Prithvi Shaw, Yash Dhull, Sarfaraz Khan, Manish Pandey, Rovman Powell, Rilee Rossouw, Lalit Yadav, Mitchell Marsh, Ripal Patel, Axar Patel, Phil Salt, Khaleel Ahmed, Aman Hakim Khan, Praveen Dubey, Kuldeep Yadav, Mukesh Kumar, Mustafizur Rahman, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Vicky Ostwal, Chetan Sakariya, Ishant Sharma, Rishabh Pant.
Delhi Capitals Full Schedule
- Match 1: April 1 – Lucknow Super Giants vs Delhi Capitals, 7:30 PM IST, Lucknow
- Match 2: April 4 – Delhi Capitals vs Gujarat Titans, 7:30 PM IST, Delhi
- Match 3: April 8 – Rajasthan Royals vs Delhi Capitals, 3:30 PM IST, Guwahati
- Match 4: April 11 – Delhi Capitals vs Mumbai Indians, 7:30 PM IST, Delhi
- Match 5: April 15 – Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Delhi Capitals, 3:30 PM IST, Bengaluru
- Match 6: April 20 – Delhi Capitals vs Kolkata Knight Riders, 7:30 PM IST, Delhi
- Match 7: April 24 – Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Delhi Capitals, 7:30 PM IST, Hyderabad
- Match 8: April 29 – Delhi Capitals vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, 7:30 PM IST, Delhi
- Match 9: May 2 – Gujarat Titans vs Delhi Capitals, 7:30 PM IST, Ahmedabad
- Match 10: May 6 – Delhi Capitals vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, 7:30 PM IST, Delhi
- Match 11: May 10 – Chennai Super Kings vs Delhi Capitals, 7:30 PM IST, Chennai
- Match 12: May 13 – Delhi Capitals vs Punjab Kings, 7:30 PM IST, Delhi
- Match 13: May 17 – Punjab Kings vs Delhi Capitals, 7:30 PM IST, Dharamsala
- Match 14: May 20 – Delhi Capitals vs Chennai Super Kings, 3:30 PM IST, Delhi
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