IPL 2021: Predicting Delhi Capitals’ strongest playing XI

Having finished as runners-up last season, Delhi Capitals would want to go one up this season.

Delhi Capitals
Delhi Capitals

Delhi Capitals (DC) were among the most consistent sides in last year’s edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Ever since their renaming from Delhi Daredevils in the 2019 edition, the Ricky Ponting-coached side have been a force to reckon with – having an excellent mix of both experience and youth.

DC were finalists last year and this time around, they would want to go one better. However, they were dealt a huge blow when their skipper Shreyas Iyer was ruled out of the tournament due to a shoulder injury that he suffered. In his absence, the young Rishabh Pant will lead the side and would want to make a mark.

We predict the playing XI DC could go with in the upcoming edition when all available players are fit and available.

Top Order: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane

shikhar dhawan ipl
Shikhar Dhawan

Picking Shikhar Dhawan would be a no brainer as the left-hander was in terrific form last season. The same can’t be said of Prithvi Shaw but the youngster’s recent performances in the Vijay Hazare Trophy as well as Shreyas Iyer’s injury leading to the need for a stronger middle order (and hence, Marcus Stoinis dropping down) would mean he will be the preferred partner for Dhawan.

The No. 3 batsman would be Ajinkya Rahane who couldn’t impress much in the last season, but his experience and calm head would bring much needed stability to the batting order.

Middle Order: Rishabh Pant, Shimron Hetmyer and Marcus Stoinis

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant

The middle-order is bound to consist of three of the most explosive batsmen in world cricket. Captain and wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant would bat at No. 4 and would be followed by West Indies’ Shimron Hetmyer. This position is however in doubt, and DC have the option of playing Steve Smith instead of Hetmyer and make him bat at 4 with Pant coming in at 5. Sam Billings could also play instead of the West Indian.

The No. 6 batsman and the finisher for the side would be Marcus Stoinis. He would also be expected to chip in with a few overs with the ball.

Spinners: Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin

Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin who not so long ago, were wreaking havoc against England for India in the test series will be the frontline spinners. An excellent combination of a quicker slow left-arm bowler and a wily right-arm offie provides for excellent variety in their attack. The duo will be expected to contribute with the bat when needed as well. Pravin Dubey, M Siddharth and Amit Mishra might play depending on Axar Patel’s COVID-19 status in the initial part of the tournament.

Pacers: Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje and Ishant Sharma

kagiso rabada ipl
Kagiso Rabada

The pacers will be Delhi Capitals’ strength. The Proteas duo of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje were top notch throughout last season and once again, they will be expected to trouble the opposition with their express pace. Englishmen Tom Curran and Chris Woakes provide for excellent backup options with their added batting ability as well.

Meanwhile, DC have some excellent options to choose from, with regard to their Indian bowling option. Ishant Sharma might be the preferred pick but there is also Umesh Yadav with his vast experience. Further, the likes of Avesh Khan and Lukman Meriwala can be alternatives.

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