IPL 2019: Is this Delhi Capitals’ Year to Shine

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Back in early December, the Delhi Daredevils changed hands to a new part-owner. The newcomer to the market is JSW Sports. As a result, it warranted a new name for the franchise, heading into IPL 2019.

Team Profile

Delhi are one of the seven remaining founding teams in IPL and yet, Delhi have never lifted the trophy. However, that does not mean that they are a weak team, far from it actually. The 2008 and 2009 seasons are certainly proof of it, along with a play-offs position in 2012. Will IPL 2019 be any different?

The team’s main sponsors for IPL 2019 are Daikin in association with Apollo Steel Tubes. Other sponsors include Lotus Herbals, Jio, JBL, DTDC, Coca-Cola, Zomato and more. They will kick-start their IPL 2019 season against the Mumbai Indians on the latter’s turf.

Background and History

Previously, the team was primarily owned by the GMR Group. But then, in 2018, GMR sold 50% of the team’s stake to JSW Sport. In the inaugural year, after an up and down campaign, they managed to sneak into the top 4. Later, they took on and lost to Rajasthan Royals in the semifinal and finished 4th.

JSW’s Parth Jindal has now stepped in and is no stranger to owning a sports team, having taken over ISL side, Bengaluru FC earlier. His presence has seemingly made all the difference for Bengaluru.

Transfers

You can’t really fault them for trying though, as they have tried a number of changes. This includes a massive team overhaul, plus a Rs 16 crore bid of southpaw, Yuvraj Singh in 2016. However, nothing worked in their favour and they remained at the bottom of the pile.

Last year, the Delhi team got their hopes up when they roped in Gautam Gambhir to captain the side. Sadly, the Delhi-born man was highly inconsistent and eventually relinquished captaincy and later, his position in the side.

Now, ahead of IPL 2019, Delhi have cast their line in the sea of cricket players and hooked former Sunrisers skipper, Shikhar Dhawan. However, a few fish did escape from the IPL Delhi team 2019 Player List and were hooked by the Sunrisers, namely Abhishek Sharma, Vijay Shankar and Shahbaz Nadeem.

Delhi also took advantage of the transfer system by letting go Jayant Yadav to Mumbai Indians.

Key Players

IPL 2019
Shikhar Dhawan will hopefully be their talisman in IPL 2019

One of the most crucial picks for Delhi will be former Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper, Shikhar Dhawan. The Delhi-born batsman boasts of an IPL strike rate of 123.5 and that could mean all the difference in IPL 2019. Dhawan can also thrive alongside the likes of Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant, a deadly line-up indeed, heading into IPL 2019.

In the bowling department, Nepal’s Sandeep Lamichhane has raised plenty of eyebrows. The 18-year old has been a godsend for Big Bash League side, Melbourne Stars. He will soon be rubbing shoulders with the likes of Afghan bowlers Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman, at Sunrisers and Kings XI respectively. On the teammate front, Lamichhane will be playing alongside fellow spinner, Amit Mishra and former King XI bowler, Axar Patel for IPL 2019.

Availability

With regard to availability for IPL 2019, most of the Delhi players should have free reign to play in the IPL. Also, so far, the Delhi Capitals squad has largely remained injury free. However, South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada will be unavailable for their opening clash with Mumbai as South Africa are facing Sri Lanka in the third ODI on that day.

Strengths and Weaknesses

As mentioned earlier, Shikhar Dhawan will be the key player to strengthen the batting line-up for IPL 2019. Prithvi Shaw is also a strong player and can be devastating when on form. Among the foreign players, when on song, Colin Munro can be unstoppable when needed. Even the middle order has a decent set of batsmen who are led by skipper Shreyas Iyer.

However, speaking of Iyer, this will be the first time he is leading an IPL side, so this season will make him or break him as a leader. Also, while they seem set in the spin doctors section, their pacing unit is something to be desired this IPL 2019. Granted they do have Bandaru Ayyappa, Nathu Singh, Avesh Khan, but they have limited experience. Ayyappa is the only one of the three making his IPL 2019 debut, while Singh played for Mumbai and Gujarat, and Khan debuted for Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2017.

Will Shikhar Dhawan deliver the goods in IPL 2019?

Coming to their foreign options, the Capitals have Colin Ingram, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Trent Boult, Sandeep Lamichhane, Colin Munro, Keemo Paul and Sherfane Rutherford bolstering the side. All in all, a fairly decent mix of foreign talent this IPL 2019.

So the big question is, with a new team name, is the wind of change blowing in good fortune for Delhi? Will they finally get the monkey off their backs in IPL 2019?

ES’ take on their 2019 campaign

On paper at least, Delhi have a strong team with a good mix of experience and youth for IPL 2019. Delhi may have struck gold with the signing of Shikhar Dhawan into their team. Even the likes of Prithvi Shaw and Rishabh Pant are good enough to get the team’s run meter going.

In the middle order, skipper Shreyas Iyer can help bolster the team is required and the foreign players are also of pretty high calibre.

In the bowling unit, Kiwi pacer Trent Boult has been known to be quite deadly when on song. Also, Nepalese teen, Sandeep Lamichhane has been very impressive post IPL season and drew massive eyeballs especially when he played for Melbourne Stars in Big Bash League.

Squad and Expected 11 for IPL 2019

Squad: Shikhar Dhawan (c), Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer, Colin Ingram, Rishabh Pant (wk), Chris Morris, Axar Patel, Sandeep Lamichhane, Kagiso Rabada, Rahul Tewatia, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Trent Boult, Ankush Bains, Hanuma Vihari, Colin Munro, Jalaj Saxena, Keemo Paul, Sherfane Rutherford, Harshal Patel, Manjot Kalra, Jayant Yadav, Bandaru Ayappa, Nathu Singh, Avesh Khan.

Expected 11: Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Colin Ingram, Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, Chris Morris, Axar Patel, Trent Boult, Sandeep Lamichhane, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra