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IPL 2020 Team Preview - Delhi Capitals

delhi capitals cricket arena

The Delhi Capitals, formerly known as Delhi Daredevils, are one of the most popular franchises in the Indian Premier League. That being said, they are also one of the most poorly performing sides in the competition’s history, with several underwhelming seasons under their belt.

However, with a new owner on board, as well as new sponsors, a new coaching team, and a young and vibrant new squad, things are looking good for the Delhi Capitals going in to IPL 2020, so let’s take a look at his franchise in detail and rate their chances of success in the upcoming season.

Delhi Capitals Franchise History

The Delhi Capitals are one of only 3 regular franchises who have never won the Indian Premier League title till now, and the only franchise that hasn’t even reached the final yet. The Capitals have qualified for the play-offs/semi-final stage only 4 times in 12 IPL seasons, one of the worst records out of any other IPL side, although they finished top of the league on two of those occasions, but failed to convert that into a spot in the final. They also have the unique distinction of finishing rock bottom of the league 4 different times, a record they would not want to be reminded of.

The Delhi Daredevils started their IPL journey on a very strong note. With a squad boasting of world-class overseas talent such as the legendary Glenn McGrath, Daniel Vettori, Mohammed Asif, Shoaib Mallik etc as well as some of the best Indian players, including local favourites Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag and Shikhar Dhawan, the Daredevils were one of the most formidable sides to play against in the first season of the IPL. The second season saw the very best of outrageously talented batsmen such as AB Devilliers, David Warner and Tillakaratne Dilshan, as they took Delhi to the very top of the league table.

However, poor decisions at the auctions as well as releasing some of their best players over the years has proved to be very costly for the Delhi franchise, as they qualified for the play-offs only once between 2010 to 2018. Some of the very best players in the IPL over the years, were all part of the Delhi franchise at some point, and were released without being replaced adequately.

It’s difficult to imagine that the franchise let go of ABD, David Warner, Gautam Gambhir, Glenn Maxwell, Quinton De Kock, Andre Russel, Pat Cummins and even young Indian talents like Sanju Samson and Mayank Markande, who are now flourishing elsewhere. That’s an all-star lineup right there and the biggest reason behind Delhi’s failures in recent years has been the inability to replace these star names with equally talented players.

YearLeague table standingFinal standing
20084th out of 8SEMIFINALISTS (4th)
20091st out of 8SEMIFINALISTS (3rd)
20105th out of 85th
201110th out of 1010th
20121st out of 9PLAYOFFS (3rd)
20139th out of 99th
20148th out of 88th
20157th out of 87th
20166th out of 86th
20176th out of 86th
20188th out of 88th
20193rd out of 8PLAYOFFS (3rd)

Delhi Capitals Ownership


The Delhi Daredevils were originally purchased by property development company GMR Group, for a price of $84 million back in 2008. This was just one of numerous investments in and around the capital city by the GMR Group, as they were also in charge of the renovations and construction of the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi. Exactly a decade later, in March 2018, the GMR Group sold 50% of their share to JSW Sports for Rs. 550 crores.

The new co-owner, Parth Jindal, has taken a much-needed pro-active approach and is very keen to make Delhi the most popular as well as successful franchise in the league. Fan interaction increased multifold, and marketing became very aggressive as a refreshing change of ownership started working wonders for the franchise. In December 2018, the name of the franchise was changed to Delhi Capitals, another step forward in the overall revamp of the side. With the new ownership already demonstrating exemplary decision making, even in cricket matters such as the auction picks, Delhi Capitals look to be in safe hands now and are potentially staring at a very bright future ahead.

Delhi Capitals Legends

The Delhi Capitals have had some of the best players to have graced this league over the years. The highest scorer in the franchise’s history is their original icon player and captain Virender Sehwag, who scored 2382 runs in 85 innings, also holding the record for the maximum number of matches played for the franchise with 86, one more than legendary leg spinner Amit Mishra, who is Delhi’s highest ever wicket-taker with 90 wickets in 85 matches. Sehwag was Delhi’s leading scorer for 3 consecutive seasons from 2010-2012.

The likes of Kevin Pieterson and AB Devilliers gave Delhi a much-needed identity, and were the driving factors behind their first-place finishes in 2012 and 2009 respectively. David Warner was a big influence in both those seasons as well, as he consistently created havoc for the Capitals from 2009 to 2013. Morne Morkel is Delhi’s second-highest wicket taker of all time with 51 wickets, 25 of which came in the 2012 season as he won the Purple Cap. Chris Morris was Delhi’s best all-rounder, as he had a batting average of 43.88 in 20 innings and also got 28 wickets as their leading bowler.

Apart from these, some of the biggest names in Indian Cricket have also represented Delhi over the years, including legends such as Zaheer Khan, Yuvraj Singh, Ashish Nehra and Gautam Gambhir, all with varying degrees of success.

IPL 2020 Auction

The Delhi Capitals had a highly encouraging auction prior to the 2020 season. They have plugged in key gaps and addressed several weaknesses in the squad. They spent more than Rs 19 crores on 8 new players, including a whopping Rs. 7.75 crores on Caribbean big-hitter Shimron Hetmeyer. The top scorer in the last year’s Big Bash league in Australia, Marcus Stoinis was another big-name purchase who can be a very valuable all-round addition to the squad.

Jason Roy and Chris Woakes looked to be extremely shrewd buys but unfortunately both have decided to pull out of this year’s IPL citing personal reasons, and have been replaced by Daniel Sams and Andre Nortje respectively.

Delhi Capitals 2019 IPL Performance Review

Delhi Capitals, playing under their new name for the first time, did well to retain their young Indian players as well as getting their original experienced campaigner Shikhar Dhawan back from the Sunrisers Hyderabad.

The Capitals got off to the best possible start, with a swashbuckling innings of 78* in just 27 balls from the dynamic Rishabh Pant which took Mumbai Indians’ bowlers to the cleaners and earned Delhi a 37-run victory. However, results were fairly inconsistent after that and the Capitals faced an uphill task to finish in the top 4 places. Fortunately, most of their players revived their form and finished the league strongly, winning 4 of their last 5 matches to finish 3rd in the league table, joint on 18 points with the league leaders Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, who were only ahead on Net Run Rate.

Shikhar Dhawan capped a fine comeback as he emerged as the highest run scorer with 521 runs in 16 innings, while Kagiso Rabada was the highest wicket-taker for Delhi with 25 wickets in just 12 innings.

The Current Delhi Capitals 2020 IPL Squad

Delhi have a formidable lineup for the upcoming season, with a very balanced approach in the auctions as well as decision-making with regards to retaining their core players that helped them qualify for the play-offs last season. Let’s take a look at some of their most important players for the upcoming IPL season.

Top Order

Delhi have an incredibly strong batting core, especially the Indian players, which gives them an edge over their rivals.

Shikhar Dhawan – The iconic southpaw, lovingly called Gabbar by his fans for his trademark moustache and “Gabru” celebration after every catch or half century, Dhawan is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Still one of the most important players in the Indian ODI setup, Dhawan was Delhi Capitals’ top scorer last season with 521 runs in 16 innings, with 5 half centuries and a top score of 97*. Having a stable and experienced head at the top of the batting order gave tremendous confidence to the youngsters and that looks set to continue this season as well.

Prithvi Shaw – The diminutive opener reminds many analysts of the great Master-Blaster from Mumbai, Sachin Tendulkar. With the same size frame, Shaw’s impeccable timing and usage of the famous MRF bat helps his case in the comparison with the legend. Shaw struck 353 runs in 15 innings last term, and was responsible in giving Delhi some quick starts alongside the experienced Dhawan at the other end. This key opening pair look set to continue for next season as well.

Ajinkya Rahane – One of the most experienced IPL campaigners since the very beginning, Rahane has been very prolific in every format of the game. Regarded as a calm, stable and a reliable top-order batsman, Rahane scored 393 runs last season for the Royals as an opener, including a stunning century. He brings some much-needed stability and experience to an erstwhile explosive young batting lineup.

Middle Order

Delhi have an equally strong and balanced middle-order to complement the explosive top-order.

Shreyas Iyer – The young and dynamic skipper has been Delhi’s most consistent player in recent seasons, and leads by example. A beautifully balanced batsman, Iyer is capable of stabilizing and building an innings as well as truly exploding and taking the game away from the opposition within a couple of overs. He scored 463 runs last season in 15 innings and would be looking to continue his prolific form.

Rishabh Pant – The dynamic and explosive next-best-thing to emerge out of Delhi, Pant is probably the most outrageously talented cricketer to emerge out of the Delhi cricket circuit in recent years. He has been remarkably consistent for Delhi over the last 4 seasons despite boasting of one of the best strike-rates in the league, with penchant for hitting huge sixes making him a huge crowd favourite. In just 15 innings he scored 488 runs last season, with an incredible strike rate of 162. Pant is Delhi’s highest paid player and most valuable asset, and they would be banking on him to accelerate in the middle-order to set imposing totals or chase down big scores.

Shimron Hetmyer – The most expensive player purchased by the Delhi Capitals at the 2020 IPL Auctions, Hetmyer can be the deciding factor in Delhi leading a proper title charge this season. If he justifies his fee and hype, Hetmyer can single-handedly win several matches for Delhi with his remarkably brutal big hitting in the middle-order. A big hit in global T20 leagues all over the world, Delhi would be hoping he finally fires in the IPL.

All-Rounders

Marcus Stoinis – Though he has been in and around as a handy all-rounder in the Australian Cricket Circuit for a while now, Stoinis truly emerged on the global scene with an unbelievable season at the 2019 Big Bash League, finishing as the tournament’s highest run scorer with 705 runs, the most in Big Bash history. He also recorded the highest score in Big Bash history when he smashed 147 during a league game. Though he played mainly as an opener, Stoinis has been used in various batting positions by Australia and can be a handy option with the ball as well, especially in the death overs.

Daniel Sams – The replacement for Jason Roy, Daniel Sams was the highest wicket-taker in last season’s Big Bash league with 30 scalps. A pacy left-arm bowler, Sams is also more than capable of a few big hits down the order, and if he can nail down his place in the starting lineup, he could be revelation this season for the Capitals.

Axar Patel – Patel is a fairly experienced IPL campaigner, with 82 matches under his belt. A utility bowler with his left-arm spin considered tough to score against, Patel has taken 71 wickets as well as scored almost 800 IPL runs, and can be a handy player to have lower in the order.

Bowlers

Delhi have an extremely balanced bowling attack, with a bunch of fiery pacers as well as two of the most experienced spinners in the league.

Kagiso Rabada – The lethal quickie from South Africa was the most effective bowler in the IPL last season, with 25 wickets in just 12 matches, at an alarmingly impressive average of just 14.72. His toe-crushing Yorkers were effectively unplayable and struck some real fear in the batsmen. Rabada seared through many top-order batsmen and won a few games for the Capitals on his own, and would be looking to continue to repay their faith in him, and lead their bowling charge at the 2020 IPL.

Ishant Sharma – The lanky Indian pacer has troubled some of the best batsmen in the world in test cricket over the years. With his impressive height and searing pace, many batsmen find it incredibly difficult to score against him. He has taken 72 wickets in his IPL career, 13 in 13 for Delhi last season, and would be looking to carry his test form to this season’s IPL.

Ravichandran Ashwin – One of India’s best ever spinners in Test Cricket, Ashwin is a very experienced campaigner in the IPL as well, having played almost every single match since its inception back in 2008. In 139 matches, Ashwin has picked up 125 wickets, but it’s his remarkable economy rate which stands out at 6.79.

Amit Mishra – The wily leg-spinner who is also Delhi’s highest wicket taker in IPL history, Amit Mishra is a true IPL legend. He has taken 157 wickets in 147 matches, only Lasith Malinga has taken more wickets in the IPL. A true wicket-taking bowler who is an expert at breaking partnerships, Mishra defies age and is still extremely valuable to his team at the age of 38.

The Coaching Staff

One of the biggest reasons behind Delhi’s remarkable turnaround from one of the weakest teams in the league to title hopefuls, has been the appointment of Australian legend Ricky Ponting. The Punter, as he is lovingly called, won 3 back-to-back World Cup titles with Australia between 1999-2007, and knows a thing or two about winning, and commands tremendous respect, especially from the younger players. Ponting has created a solid backroom team, with specialists such as Ryan Harris for fast bowling and Samuel Badree as spin-bowling coach. Mohammed Kaif is the assistant manager.

Delhi Capitals – Expectations And Predicted Lineup

With no dearth of quality in batting as well as bowling, predicting a starting XI for the Delhi Capitals is quite a tricky prospect, but we will still give it a shot.

  1. Prithvi Shaw
  2. Marcus Stoinis
  3. Shikhar Dhawan
  4. Shreyas Iyer (C)
  5. Rishabh Pant (WK)
  6. Shimron Hetmeyer
  7. Axar Patel
  8. Daniel Sams
  9. Kagiso Rabada
  10. Ravichandran Ashwin
  11. Ishant Sharma
  • Marcus Stoinis has been in brilliant form as an opener in the Big Bash League, and has elevated his game to extremely high levels of late. Even Australia now make him bat at number 3 and he is proving to be a more than handy option in the top order. He could effectively replace Jason Roy as an opener next to Prithvi Shaw, with Shikhar Dhawan dropping down to number 3, a role he played to perfection in his first season with Delhi back in 2008.
  • In at number 4, Shreyas Iyer will then have the opportunity to control the tempo of the innings and explode at will, depending on the situation. After a solid and reliable top 4, we have two big, sorry, huge hitters in Rishabh Pant and Shimron Hetmyer, who will be tasked to increase the run rate tremendously with their big hits and help Delhi pose huge totals, or chase down big scores.
  • At number 7 and 8 we have two left-arm bowling all-rounders in Axar Patel and Daniel Sams, who both offer a lot of variety with the ball and can be very handy with the bat as well.
  • Delhi have an incredibly deep batting lineup, as at number 9 we have Kagiso Rabada who is no novice with the bat, and already has an impressive IPL half century to his name, while at number 10 we have Ravichandran Ashwin who is a certified all-rounder in test cricket with 4 centuries to his name. Ishant Sharma completes the batting lineup.
  • The bowling attack will be spearheaded by Kagiso Rabada, who will be ably supported by Daniel Sams and Ishant Sharma towards the beginning and end of the innings. Ashwin and Axar will handle the spin duties in the middle while Stoinis can be a handy 6th bowling option.
  • This side looks incredibly balanced, with 6 bowling options and 10 players who can bat, and if everyone performs as expected it will be very difficult to stop this Delhi side.

Delhi Capitals ended last season equal on points with traditional IPL heavyweights Chennai Super Kings, with only a lower Net Run Rate keeping them in 3rd position. This proves that the squad was already good enough to take on the best teams in the league, and has only improved this season. With a brilliant auction window before this season, Delhi could definitely be considered as the dark horses for the title, and should atleast aim to reach their first ever final this time.

Betting Tips on Delhi Capitals

Delhi to win the title has odds of 7.00 on Betway, and could be a tempting proposition, considering the team is going from strength to strength.

Delhi to qualify for the top 4 has odds of 1.83 as per Betway, which looks like an highly safe bet, and is strongly recommended. We do not see Delhi performing badly this season, and can only improve on last season. Hence, this bet is strongly advised.

Shreyas Iyer to win the Orange Cap – The captain has been Delhi’s most consistent batsman in recent seasons, and this could well be the season he truly establishes himself as a modern day IPL great.

Kagiso Rabada to win the Purple Cap – Rabada was the second-highest wicket-taker in the league last season with 25 wickets in just 12 matches. He would have definitely won the Purple Cap had he not left the league before the play-offs. He would be looking to make up for that miss this season though, and there is no reason to believe he won’t be equally lethal this season.

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Akshay Malhotra

28 year old former professional cricketer at youth levels with a burning passion for sports. Experienced football writer with over 8 years of experience.