IPL 2021: Can The Capitals Go One Step Ahead
IPL 2020 was a bag full of surprises. Many things took place for the very first time in the last edition. For instance, we saw the entire tournament getting contested in the UAE behind closed-doors, Mumbai Indians finally winning the trophy fifth time & twice in a row, Chennai Super Kings for the first time since the inception of the tournament failing to reach the playoffs. But the biggest surprise of them all was that Delhi Capitals making it to the finals for the first time in IPL history.
In 2020, Delhi Capitals rose to the occasion in grand style. They shut their trollers once and for all to reach the finals of IPL 2020. But how well do they stack up ahead of this season? We are here to discuss the same.
The DC Team
Delhi Capitals are a gifted side. However, the team has collided with a massive roadblock ahead of the start of the competition with their prolific skipper Shreyas Iyer unavailable for the entire season. The 26-year old injured his left shoulder in the first ODI against England in Pune and will be requiring surgery that is scheduled to take place in the first week of April. His absence will be a massive blow for the team and their hopes of making it big in the 2021 edition. The management is yet to take a call on the new captain, but the likes of Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Steven Smith, and Prithvi Shaw are the front-runners to step-in Shreyas Iyer’s shoes.
Talking about the team balance, they have got the perfect blend of extraordinary youth and impeccable experienced players. The DC team made in-roads in 2020 right from the word ‘go’ and would be looking to surface the same moving ahead. Delhi let go Sandeep Lamichhane, Tushar Deshpande, Mohit Sharma, Daniel Sams, Harshal Patel, Jason Roy, Keemo Paul, and Alex Carey ahead of the mini auctions held in February 2021. Their move got criticized before, but they have definitely found a new composition that looks more stable. Below is the list of players they have purchased in the mini-auction.
- Tom Curran (England)- Rs. 5.25 crore
- Steven Smith (Australia)- Rs. 2.2 crore
- Sam Billings (England)- Rs. 2 crore
- Umesh Yadav- Rs. 1 Crore
- Ripal Patel- Rs. 20 Lakh
- Vishnu Vinod- Rs. 20 Lakh
- Lukman Hussain Meriwala- Rs. 20 Lakh
- M Siddharth- Rs. 20 Lakh
One of the biggest concerns of the Capitals in the last season was an alternate wicket-keeper. The management kept this thought in mind and opted for two keepers in Vishnu Vinod of Kerala and England’s Sam Billings. Both are heavy hitters of the White ball and can be flexible in the batting order as well. Analyzing their auction buys, it looks like yet again they have got all their bases covered.
DC Squad Players To Watch Out
The DC squad is full of natural entertainers. Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan are known for their blistering starts, whereas, Ajinkya Rahane who is supposed to play the majority of games this season in the absence of Iyer will be cool as a cucumber in the middle-order. Shimron Hetmyer and Rishabh Pant are all about brute force, and the duo is capable of turning the tables almost single-handedly. We all are aware of the strength Big Marcus Stoinis has. The all-rounder was incredible last season with both bat and ball and would be a key figure in the setup yet again.
Talking about the new recruits, the inclusion of Steven Smith has surprised one and all, and it would be interesting to see how Ricky Ponting and company use him during the course of the competition. In Umesh Yadav and Lukman Meriwala, Delhi has got that extra option in their pace bowling department, which will be lead by the dynamic South African duo of Anrich Nortje and the ‘Purple Cap’ holder of the last season Kagiso Rabada. Ishant Sharma is fit to fire all cylinders, while Chris Woakes, who wasn’t available in the last season, will play a major role with both bat and ball.
Talking about the spinners, veterans Amit Mishra and Ravichandran Ashwin will hold the fort together, along with Axar Patel, who is perhaps in the best phase of his cricketing career.
Delhi Capitals schedule for IPL 2021
The DC squad will kick-off their campaign against Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. They will be playing five games in Kolkata, four in Ahmedabad, three in Mumbai, and two in Chennai. Below is their full schedule.
Match 1: Delhi Capitals VS Chennai Super Kings, April 10, Mumbai, 7:30 PM
Match 2: Delhi Capitals VS Rajasthan Royals, April 15, Mumbai, 7:30 PM
Match 3: Delhi Capitals VS Punjab Kings, April 18, Mumbai, 7:30 PM
Match 4: Delhi Capitals VS Mumbai Indians, April 20, Chennai, 7:30 PM
Match 5: Sunrisers Hyderabad VS Delhi Capitals, April 25, Chennai, 7:30 PM
Match 6: Delhi Capitals VS Royal Challengers Bangalore, April 27, Ahmedabad, 7:30 PM
Match 7: Delhi Capitals VS Kolkata Knight Riders, April 29, Ahmedabad, 7:30 PM
Match 8: Punjab Kings VS Delhi Capitals, May 2, Ahmedabad, 7:30 PM
Match 9: Kolkata Knight Riders VS Delhi Capitals, May 8, Ahmedabad, 3:30 PM
Match 10: Delhi Capitals VS Rajasthan Royals, May 11, Kolkata, 7:30 PM
Match 11: Delhi Capitals VS Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kolkata, May 14, 7:30 PM
Match 12: Delhi Capitals VS Sunrisers Hyderabad, May 17, Kolkata, 7:30 PM
Match 13: Delhi Capitals VS Chennai Super Kings, May 21, Kolkata, 7:30 PM
Match 14: Delhi Capitals VS Mumbai Indians, May 23, Kolkata, 3:30 PM
Their best possible eleven for the first game against CSK
Umesh Yadav/Tom Curran
(Note: The duo of Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada won’t be available for the first two weeks of the competition as they will be on national duties)
The complete RR Squad for IPL 2021
Ajinkya Rahane, Amit Mishra, Avesh Khan, Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, Lalit Yadav, Anrich Nortje, Ishant Sharma, Kagiso Rabada, Prithvi Shaw, Steve Smith, Tom Curran, Ravichandran Ashwin, Rishabh Pant, Shikhar Dhawan, ShimronHetmyer, M Siddharth, Pravin Dubey, Chris Woakes, Sam Billings, Umesh Yadav, Lukman Meriwala.
Time to wrap up:
With Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje not available for at least two weeks, and skipper Shreyas Iyer out of the entire season, the Capitals would be jolted. However, they will have to find a new combination for the new ball so that when the South African duo features, they don’t have enough on their plate. As far as Iyer’s exclusion is concerned they have quality batters in Ajinkya Rahane, Vishnu Vinod, and Lalit Yadav who can fill the void left by Iyer in the batting department. All-in-all, the team looks settled and good enough to get one step ahead of the position they secured in the last edition.