With the IPL auction set to take place on February 18, Patriot analyses what Delhi Capitals can focus on to build a winning squad
Delhi Capitals, like Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab, are one of the only three teams to have never won the IPL trophy. Royal Challengers Bangalore have tried three times but have failed at crucial stages. Delhi Capitals and Kings XI Punjab have reached the final but they have never won the title.
Delhi Capitals finally overcame the barrier of the playoffs in the last edition as they reached the final but they were denied by a dominant Mumbai Indians who secured their fifth title. By their performance in IPL 2020 and having reached Qualifier 2 in IPL 2019, Delhi Capitals have shown that they are a capable team and emerged as one of the stronger outfits of the tournament.
The Delhi Capitals consists of some of the best bowlers in the world, with Kagiso Rabada ending up as the leading wicket-taker. Rabada was well-supported by Anrich Nortje as the bowling attack intimidated the opposition with their pace.
However, the Delhi Capitals were plagued by two factors in IPL 2020. Towards the business end of the tournament, the men in red and blue suffered a massive dip in momentum as they lost four games on the trot.
Delhi Capitals were also plagued by injuries, with Ishant Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin taking knocks at crucial junctures of the tournament.
However, with the bat, they had Shikhar Dhawan and Marcus Stoinis in great form but there was a lack of support from Ajinkya Rahane and Prithvi Shaw. The youngster, in particular, has been in the midst of a rough patch having also lost his plan in the Indian team to Shubhman Gill.
In the trade window of 2021 before the auctions, the Capitals traded Harshal Patel and Daniel Sams to Royal Challengers Bangalore before the start of the player retention and release list.
The batting order looks in solid touch with Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Marcus Stoinis and Rishabh Pant all forming part of a solid core. Delhi Capitals may be aiming to get some solidity in the middle order after Ajinkya Rahane and Shimron Hetmyer both failed to be consistent in the previous edition. The bowling attack includes Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin and Marcus Stoinis as well. Lalit Yadav also impressed while Pravin Dubey also got one game.
Delhi Capitals would be aiming to get a solid legspinner and also a solid middle-order batsman in the IPL 2021 auction. With only Rs 12.8 crore remaining, Delhi Capitals might not be aiming for too many buys in the auction.
Here are some players they might target in the auction
Australian spin-bowling all-rounder Chris Green can definitely strengthen Delhi Capitals bench. The 27-year-old off-spinner is improving as time progresses and is now featuring in some big T20 leagues, apart from Big Bash League.
In the BBL 2020/21, Green has taken 13 wickets in 13 matches for Sydney Thunder. He is also a handy batsman in the lower-order. However, as a batsman he still needs to prove his consistency.
While Ravichandran Ashwin is Delhi Capitals’ only experienced off-spinner, Green can be a good reserve choice for them and can be also used as an overseas all-rounder.
Green made his IPL debut in the 2020 season, playing for Kolkata Knight Riders. However, it is his only IPL match till the date. As KKR have just released him, Delhi Capitals have a good chance to grab him during the IPL 2021 auction.
Wicket-keeper batsman Sheldon Jackson has been highly impressive in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2020/21. The former Saurashtra cricketer is now playing for Puducherry, scored 242 runs in five games with average 80.66 and strike-rate 155, including one century and one half-century. He was also consistent in the 2019/20 domestic season.
The 34-year-old wicket-keeper batsman has some good experience in Indian domestic circuit.
However, he has played only four IPL matches for KKR in IPL 2017, where he scored a total of 38 runs. But his stats do not reveal the ability the player has. Delhi Capitals can unearth a gem if he manages to come to the squad.
The 30-year-old left-arm pacer Pradeep Sangwan recently impressed in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2020/21 as the Delhi pacer got 7 wickets in four matches. As Delhi Capitals currently have no left-arm pacer, Pradeep Sangwan can be a choice for them during the IPL 2021 auction.
While Sangwan has already served for three different IPL teams, Delhi Daredevils was his first IPL franchise where he played between 2008 and 2010. In the IPL 2009, he was the joint eighth-most wicket-taker by picking up 15 wickets in 13 games. However, he has managed 35 wickets in 39 overall IPL matches. He played the last IPL match in the 2018 edition
While the UAE organised the complete IPL 2020, Sangwan went with the Delhi Capitals team as a net bowler. So, he is currently close to this franchise.