Delhi Capitals has faced a lot of agony in IPL history. It is the franchise that has previously made it to the playoffs five times. DC is yet to lift the Indian Premier League trophy, finishing twice as runners-up. After rebranding themselves to become Delhi Capitals, the franchise has enjoyed a good amount of success in the last two years.
Having a decent start in the inaugural season, the erstwhile Delhi Daredevils weren’t able to maintain their form and subsequently found themselves in the bottom three for six consecutive years until 2019. The young Delhi Capitals team has significantly progressed deep in the competition. The franchise will enter the upcoming season with a number of adjustments in the squad, along with a new and inexperienced captain, Rishabh Pant.
What did DC do in IPL 2021 auctions?
The Delhi side went into IPL 2021 auction with the second-lowest purse of just Rs 13.40 crore. They went into the auction with a very strategic outlook, primarily to fill in for the released players as well as the gaps in the squad identified by the coaches, as per the Delhi Capitals CEO, Vinod Bisht.
The former finalists decided to release six players from their squad that included Keemo Paul, Sandeep Lamichhane, Jason Roy, Alex Carey, Mohit Sharma, and Tushar Deshpande. Daniel Sams and Harshal Patel were traded to Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Despite having a small purse for the auction, DC managed to rope in a number of good players. What might sound unbelievable at first, the fact remains intact as the world-class batsman Steve Smith has signed without any competition at just Rs 2.2 crore. Two more overseas players Sam Billings (Rs 2 crore) and Tom Curran (at Rs 5.25 crore) were roped in.
With the inclusion of Curran and Umesh Yadav (Rs 1 crore) to the squad, the bowling area will be bolstered as it already comprised of some stars like Rabada, Nortje, Ashwin, Mishra, and many more. The franchise also bought Manimaran Siddharth, Vishnu Vinod, Ripal Patel and Lukman Meriwala at their base prices of Rs 20 lakh.
Delhi Capitals Full Squad: Ajinkya Rahane, Amit Mishra, Avesh Khan, Axar Patel, Ishant Sharma, Kagiso Rabada, Prithvi Shaw, Ravichandran Ashwin, Rishabh Pant, Shikhar Dhawan, Lalit Yadav, Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmyer, Chris Woakes, Anrich Nortje, Steve Smith, Umesh Yadav, Ripal Patel, Lukman Hussain Meriwala, M Siddharth, Tom Curran, Sam Billings, Pravin Dubey, Vishnu Vinod
*Shreyas Iyer will miss the tournament due to a shoulder injury.
Players to watch out
With a talent-rich squad like Delhi, it is tough to decide whom to watch. With the batting lineup so grand, and the balling lineup up to the mark, DC can turn up to be a formidable opponent for the rest of the teams.
The batting lineup opens with the Indian maestro Shikhar Dhawan who is definitely a must-watch, having amassed a lot of runs for his side over the years. All eyes will be on the bargain player Steve Smith, up to whom the fans will be holding a lot of expectations. Marcus Stoinis has proven himself to be a very essential middle-order batsman who has at times, won them matches with his ability to strike the ball to the seats. While the new captain Rishabh Pant will have the limelight as well as the pressure to perform. Pant should be a strong contender for Orange cap considering his recent form with India.
While the South African bowlers will miss their opening matches with the team, their arrival in the playing XI will be something that fans will be dearly anticipating. The SA pacers are always a joy to watch, given their past records and bowling prowess. Lukman Meriwala and Manimaran Siddharth if given a chance might turn out to be India’s wildcard stars as they were selected by the Delhi owners due to their domestic records.
Expectations for IPL 2021
Delhi Capitals have revived their status as one of the top clubs in the tournament. The expectation for this season will be to take the next step and clinch the trophy. With the majority of the core intact in the squad, DC will be expected to play an attractive and attacking brand of cricket. For the past two years, the team has ended the season at 3rd in 2019, and 2nd (or runners up) in 2020. As things seem to be stable for the former finalists, the fans would wish their team to follow the previous years’ pattern and end up as champions in IPL 2021.
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