IPL 2020: DC Team Preview - Dhawan, Pant and Rabada in ranks, but who's Delhi's finisher?
Delhi Capitals had a couple of good years at the beginning of the IPL and then tapered off.
The franchise brought back Gautam Gambhir in IPL 2018 and made him the skipper but due to his poor form, Gambhir stepped down both as captain and as a player midway, with Shreyas Iyer being given the responsibility.
The Ponting impact
Last year, Iyer took the team to the playoffs for the first time in seven years and things are now looking much brighter for Delhi. When Delhi Capitals surprised a lot of people in 2019 with the performances that they put in, the credit for that went to the young skipper, but a lot of it also goes to head coach Ricky Ponting who is as astute a cricket brain as there is.
Punter's impact on the team was visible last year and with the choices that Ponting has made in the auctions for this year's IPL, Delhi Capitals have most of their bases covered.
With Shaw and Dhawan to open, does Rahane fit in?
A big decision that the young captain would have to take is the fate of Ajinkya Rahane. With two explosive openers in Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan at the top of the order, Rahane will certainly find it difficult to open. The team may try to accommodate him at three but that does not serve the balance of the side and hence, the senior pro may have to sit out.
Delhi have skipper Shreyas Iyer, West Indies' big-hitter Shimron Hetmyer and pocket rocket Rishabh Pant in the middle order.
Who's Delhi's finisher?
A big hole in the side is of the finisher. Marcus Stoinis has been signed, possibly with that in mind but he has struggled to do that job in international cricket. Most of his runs in the BBL - where he was the top run-scorer last year with over 700 runs, one century, six half-centuries and batted at a strike rate of 136.63 - have come at the top of the order and it would be a good test of Stoinis' finishing ability.
Solid bowling attack
Delhi Capitals are spoilt for choice in their bowling line-up. The team has Kagiso Rabada as the leader of the pack alongside skillful West Indian pacer Keemo Paul. Delhi will have to choose between Ishant Sharma, Mohit Sharma, Avesh Khan and Harshal Patel for the slot of the Indian pacer.
While all four of them are talented individuals, Ishant stands out with his international experience. Daniel Sams and Anrich Nortje are their overseas pace bowling options if and when Delhi require them.
Alex Carey and Sandeep Lamichhane - Delhi's backups
Jason Roy pulled out of the IPL to focus on his fitness, but the team still has Alex Carey in the ranks who can come in both as a specialist batsman and as a keeper-batsman if either Shimron Hetmyer fails to find form or in case of an injury to Rishabh Pant.
Likewise, Sandeep Lamichhane and Amit Mishra are also good leg spin options that the team possesses and can be tried, especially at the later stages of the tournament when the pitches turn even more sluggish.
Probable Starting XI
Delhi Capitals (DC) - Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer(c), Shimron Hetmyer, Rishabh Pant(wk), Marcus Stoinis, Keemo Paul, Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Kagiso Rabada.
Delhi Capitals (DC) - Rishabh Pant, Shimron Hetmyer, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shreyas Iyer, Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, Axar Patel, Marcus Stoinis, Kagiso Rabada, Amit Mishra, Alex Carey, Jason Roy, Chris Woakes, Prithvi Shaw, Ishant Sharma, Avesh khan, Keemo Paul, Mohit Sharma, Harshal Patel, Sandeep Lamichhane, Tushar Deshpande, Lalit Yadav
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