IPL 2021 DC Team Preview and Predictions: Pant takes over captaincy mantle from Iyer as Delhi Capitals aim to go one better
Delhi Capitals finished as the runners-up in IPL 2020 and would want to go one step further and lift the trophy this time around.
Iyer's loss is Pant's gain
A massive setback for Delhi Capitals even before the season has begun is the unavailability of captain Shreyas Iyer. Officially, he is expected to miss the first few weeks of the IPL but it appears likely that he won't be able to take part in the entire season.
Rishabh Pant has been named the captain of the franchise in Iyer's absence. It is not that bad an outcome for Delhi if you think it through actually as Pant has found the form of his life over the last six months and is expected to take his new-found matured approach into captaincy as well.
Shaw and Dhawan to open
Delhi have been resurgent over the last couple of years and succeeded in reaching the final of the last edition of the IPL where they were completely outplayed by Mumbai Indians.
Opener Prithvi Shaw, who was dropped mid-season last year, absolutely murdered bowlers in the recently concluded 50-overs Vijay Hazare Trophy and is a certainty to start alongside another explosive left hander Shikhar Dhawan, who had a successful ODI series against England.
Rahane ahead of Smith
Ajinkya Rahane is likely to bat at number three in the absence of Shreyas Iyer which means that Steve Smith will have to miss out.
Shimron Hetmyer and Rishabh Pant will bat at numbers 4 and 5 given the situation of the match while all rounder Marcus Stoinis is expected to be in the role of the finisher at number 6.
Mishra and Ashwin to spin a web
The team has three brilliant spin options in Amit Mishra, Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin. Mishra missed out on a large part of the last edition due to an injury but was in fine rhythm in the first few matches of the league and will make the starting XI, with Axar Patel undergoing a 10-day quarantine. Patel performed exceedingly well in the last edition, particularly in the powerplay.
Coming on the back of a super successful series against Australia and England, Ravichandran Ashwin is expected to play a major rore.
Rabada, Nortje might miss DC's opening fixture
Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje may not be available for the first match of Delhi Capitals due to South Africa's ODI series against Pakistan. In that case, the team will have no option but to bring in the likes of Chris Woakes and Tom Curran who are part of their squad.
In terms of Indian pace options, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav will compete against each other for one spot.
Top Batsman - Runs Scored - Prithvi Shaw
Top Bowler - Wickets Taken - Ravichandran Ashwin
Most Sixes - Rishabh Pant / Marcus Stoinis
Predicted starting XI
Delhi Capitals – Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (C&WK), Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmyer, Amit Mishra, Ravichandran Ashwin, Chris Woakes, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav.
Delhi Capitals (DC) - Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Rishabh Pant (c & wk), Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Chris Woakes, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, Lalit Yadav, Pravin Dubey, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Ishant Sharma, Avesh Khan, Steve Smith, Umesh Yadav, Ripal Patel, Vishnu Vinod, Lukman Meriwala, M Siddarth, Tom Curran, Sam Billings
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