The Delhi Capitals come into the 13th edition of the IPL as one of the favourites. They have assembled a strong Indian batting unit, with stars like Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Prithvi Shaw and Rishabh Pant in the side. They also have a solid bowling department with some of the biggest T20 players from over the world.
Delhi will play their opener against KL Rahul’s Kings XI Punjab on Sunday, and we look at their expected playing XI for the game.
Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw
Delhi have plenty of options as far as the openers are concerned, with Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw all in the running to open the innings. However, they are likely to go in with the right-left hand combination of Dhawan and Shaw, even though it means that experienced Rahane will have to miss the cut. Dhawan is one of the most reliable openers in white-ball cricket and has proved to be the perfect foil to Rohit Sharma in international cricket.
Shaw can get going from Ball one and will have the onus of getting DC off to a fiery start as Dhawan plays the role of anchor.
Shreyas Iyer (captain), Rishabh Pant (wk) and Shimron Hetmyer
The skipper of Delhi Capitals is expected to bat at number three for the team this season. The 25-year old is a fine player of spin and has been in good nick ever since he took over the captaincy role of the Capitals. Iyer has been able to pitch in with match-winning performances for Team India in the recent past, and will hope to replicate his form in the IPL as well.
Rishabh Pant, despite his poor run in international matches, is a player to watch out for in the IPL. His stroke play and his match-winning skills makes him the ideal middle order player for the franchise, and the youngster will be looking to start the season on a good note and impress ahead of the T20 World Cup that will be held next year.
Shimron Hetmyer was in decent form in the recent Caribbean Premier League and he will be looking to justify the big bucks that the franchise spent on him for IPL 2020. The West Indian youngster can change the match in just a few overs, and it remains to be seen how dangerous he can be on the slow wickets that will be found in the UAE.
Marcus Stoinis, Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel
Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis comes into the IPL after a decent outing in the recent series between Australia and England. He will also be the sixth bowler in the side and was in excellent form in the Big Bash League that was held last year, though he batted at number three in the tournament.
Axar Patel will regularly bowl his four overs, and will partner Ravichandran Ashwin and Amit Mishra in the middle overs as the third spinner. He can also bowl in the powerplay overs and will be expected to restrict the run flow in the middle overs.
Ashwin might not be termed as an all-rounder in the IPL, but he can send the ball a long way. He is one of the best spinners in the world at the moment, and is a thinking cricketer, and this is something that DC will look to exploit in this year’s IPL.
Ishant Sharma, Kagiso Rabada and Amit Mishra
Ishant Sharma and Kagiso Rabada will be the first names on the sheet for Delhi Capitals ahead of the clash against Kings XI Punjab. While Rabada is excellent with the new ball and at the death as well, Ishant has plenty of experience and will be leading the pace bowling attack. The presence of a number of strong Indians in the team might mean that Delhi field just three foreigners in the side, though they might drop Axar Patel for Alex Carey if the track is not as spin friendly.
The last pick in the XI is expected to be stalwart Amit Mishra, who has tasted considerable success in the IPL over the years. The leg spinner had picked up 11 wickets last season and has 157 wickets in his IPL career at an impressive economy rate of less than 7.5.
Delhi Capitals Predicted Playing XI for IPL 2020:
Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer (c), Rishabh Pant (wk), Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Kagiso Rabada, Amit Mishra