Delhi capitals (DC) have improved significantly since the IPL 2019. They lost to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the Qualifier-2, but bounced back harder in IPL 2020, grabbing a spot in the finals against Mumbai Indians (MI). The players they possessed in their ranks and the strategies they implemented attributed to the fans hailing DC as one of the favorites for the title. Arguably, they are among the hot picks for the trophy this time as well, and now, with the experienced mustered from the last two playoff appearances, it can be assumed that the Shreyas Iyer-captained side could finally end their wait for their maiden IPL title.
Here are the players Delhi Capitals can target in the IPL 2021 auction –
The last season of IPL was indeed forgettable for the Australian all-rounder. He was one of the costliest bids in the IPL 2020 auction and was eventually picked by Kings XI Punjab for a sum of Rs 10.75 crore. However, his performances were far from satisfying. Maxwell averaged 15.43 and scored 103 runs in 13 matches while picking 3 wickets with best figures as 1/17.
Post-IPL, Maxwell shocked the cricket fraternity in the limited-overs matches against India with scores of 45, 63* and 59 in the 3-match ODIs at a striking rate of 150-plus, and a 36-ball 54 in one of the T20 Internationals. He was in a decent form with the willow in Big Bash League 2020-21, compiling 379 runs in 13 innings with 3 fifty-plus totals at a strike rate of 143.56, including 7 wickets at an economy of 7.66.
It’s given that his performances in IPL haven’t been up to the mark for some time, there’s a strong possibility for the 32-year-old to garner impressive numbers at the auction table for the upcoming season. With the form in his favor, he could be a major boost to their middle-order this season.
Both Prithvi Shaw and Ajinkya Rahane weren’t consistent with the bat in IPL 2020, and the former, in particular, has been finding it difficult to get past the powerplay since the last two seasons.
In such circumstances, Kedar Devdhar’s addition to the squad could be expected to add a bit of muscle to their top-order. The Baroda cricketer finished second in the list of leading run-getters in this season of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, with scores in the last 7 innings as – 49*, 44*, 99*, 26, 43, 64 and 16. Kedar can play the role of an aggregator at the start of the innings, and considering there’s Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer to follow, he can opt for a fearless approach at the situation’s behest.
If Delhi Capitals are rooting for an Indian bowler who has plenty of experience in the shortest format and at the same time, can complement Ishant Sharma in the powerplays then it’s none other than Umesh Yadav. He is well aware of the conditions offered and the areas to bowl in the field restrictions. Plus, his addition into the side lessens the overdependency on the Protea duo of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje for affecting the breakthroughs.
The Vidharbha pacer had been playing for RCB since 2018, where he was the most effective with his prowess – 20 wickets in 14 matches at an average of 20.90. His form fluctuated in 2019, and he played just two matches in IPL 2020, where he conceded 83 runs and was released from the squad ahead of the auction.
Nonetheless, at a base price of Rs 1 crore, there doesn’t seem to be a better option than Umesh for the exposure he brings to the table.
Delhi Capitals’ search for an explosive opening batsman can come to an end post-Azharuddeen’s selection. With the likes of Jason Roy being released ahead of the auction, DC would be hoping to rope in the 26-year-old to render his services alongside either Shikhar Dhawan, thus maintaining the left-hand-right-hand combination. Even Marcus Stoinis-Azharuddeen’s combination could be given a thought considering they both have an attacking mindset and can go bonkers attack from the very moment.
A promising talent from Kerela, Azharuddeen was among the top run-getters in this year’s Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, scoring 214 runs in 5 innings at a strike rate of 190-plus. The right-hander struck an unbeaten 137* off 54 deliveries against Mumbai that comprised a whopping tally of 9 fours and 11 sixes to chase a 197-run target with 25 balls to spare. A power-hitter of his caliber is the need of the hour for Delhi Capitals to exploit the field restrictions in the powerplay.
The keeper-batsman couldn’t exploit runs in IPL 2020, but his dominating exhibition in the concluded season of Big Bash T20 could make the franchise reconsider him for this season. Striking at a rate of 122.12, Carey accumulated 425 runs in 13 innings with two of his highest knocks of the tournament being – 89 (52) and 101 (62), including 14 dismissals when behind the stumps.
He possesses a wide variety of shot selections that could make him trickier to bowl to once set in the middle. Not to forget, he could be an ideal backup for Rishabh Pant, in case of an injury, as was the case in the previous edition.