Delhi Capitals : Predicted Playing XI and Team Analysis
The upcoming edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) is all set to commence from 19th of September in UAE. The teams are gearing up their preparations and so are the audiences from their home.
We are going through a pre tournament analysis of one of the teams Delhi Capitals. To be honest, Delhi doesn't look a bad team overall but I personally don't have huge expectations from this team.
The unavailability of Jason Roy means, Delhi would go with Dhawan-Shaw duo for the opening slot. Rahane will have to bat at 3 followed by the skipper Iyer at 4. Had Roy been available and slotted to open, I feel Delhi would have been forced to bench someone like Shaw or Rahane. But this is out of the equation for now.
Rishabh Pant would be a player to watch out in this season. After the retirement of MS Dhoni from international cricket, Pant is now eyeing a permanent spot in national side. He has already shown his capabilities to blow away the opposition in no time and needs to continue that in this season too.
Based on match situation, Iyer would even promote Pant to number 3 or 4 if he needs some quick runs straight away. As far as my view is concerned, Shimron Hetmyer may have to miss most of the matches this season as the core of the side is dominated by Indian batsmen.
The experienced off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin will probably be the first choice in this list followed by Australian Marcus Stoinis. Ashwin with his variations can prove out to be pretty effective in slower UAE pitches. Ashwin finished with 15 wickets from 14 matches for Kings XI Punjab in the previous season but would surely look to perform a lot better this time around.
Stoinis on the other hand, was good in Big Bash League right before the Coronavirus broke down. Stoinis played as opener batsman in BBL but will be used as a finisher by Delhi. In addition to his ability of scoring runs, his medium pacers may come out handy for his team in UAE pitches.
Keemo Paul will be the other option ahead of Axar Patel and Daniel Sams. In case Keemo doesn't live upto his expectations, Delhi can go with Daniel Sams who was transferred lately as a replacement for Jason Roy. Many cricket fans might not know much about Sams. He is a left arm medium pace bowler and bats lower down the order. Sams was the highest wicket taker in the 2019-2020 season of Big Bash League.
Kagiso Rabada will lead the pace bowling attack for the side. Rabada was brilliant for Delhi last season as he finished 2nd in the list of highest wicket takers just one wicket behind CSK's Imran Tahir. Rabada had 25 wickets from just 12 matches he played.
I guess Ishant Sharma could get a slight advantage over Mohit Sharma but depending on the opposition and playing conditions, Delhi have the luxury to go with yet another spin option in the names of Axar Patel and Sandeep Lamichhane.
Since Ashwin is considered an allrounder, Delhi might as well go with 2 more spinners among Mishra, Axar and Sandeep. One of the most successful bowlers in IPL history, Amit Mishra would be the first choice. Axar can contribute with the bat lower down the order while Sandeep is coming after a decent performance in Carribean Premier League (CPL). The young Nepalileg spinner finished with 12 wickets in the tournament and played vital role in guiding his team to the semi finals of the tournament.
Predicted Playing XI
Shreyas Iyer (C)
Rishabh Pant (WK)
Marcus Stoinis / Daniel Sams
Keemo Paul / Sandeep Lamichhane
Ishant Sharma / Axar Patel
Player to Watch Out For : Rishabh Pant
An important thing to note in this team lineup would be the number of foreign players. We all know its not mandatory to play 4 foreign players in the playing eleven. Delhi might opt to go in with 3 foreign players too.
One thing is sure that Delhi won't go with a stable-unchanged eleven for most part of the tournament. They have number of options available and I am expecting chops and changes in the selection as the tournament progresses.
As far as spin department is concerned, Ashwin will be the premier choice and Mishra being the experienced one will have an upper hand too. Someone like Sandeep Lamichhane will definitely get chances but I doubt if he will play more number of matches.
It will be interesting to see if Delhi will find a place for Shimron Hetmyer. At the moment, I cant see a place for Hetmyer. The only way to get him in would be dropping either of Rahane or Shaw based on their performances or compromising an allrounder slot in between Stoinis or Keemo which cant be neglected either.
I am sure the coaching staffs including Ricky Ponting have prepared effective strategies in terms of team selections.
The team selection and analysis done is purely personal opinion of the writer.