Delhi Capitals to enter IPL 2023 with renewed hope and a new captain
In less than a couple of weeks, the 2023 edition of the Indian Premier League will kick-start with a total of ten teams fighting with each other to lift the trophy. Of all the participating sides, there are only four teams who are yet to win the cup, namely Royal Challengers Bangalore, Delhi Capitals, Lucknow Super Giants, and Punjab Kings.
It will be a golden chance for the Capitals this year to remove their name from this embarrassing list and win the T20 Championship. Playing under the new skipper David Warner, the franchise will commence its campaign on April 01 with a battle against the Super Giants at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow.
The Capitals reached the final of the league for the first time in 2020 in the United Arab Emirates, with Shreyas Iyer as their skipper. However, with Iyer ruled out due to an injury, Rishabh Pant was handed the reins of the side in the 2021 season. DC topped the points table that season but lost to the Kolkata Knight Riders in the second qualifier.
The management backed Pant for the 2022 season as well and let go of Shreyas Iyer for the mega auction. However, the team was forced to pick a new captain for the 2023 edition, as Rishabh has been ruled out for seven to eight months because of multiple injuries.
In the absence of the wicketkeeper-batter, David Warner was the obvious choice as he led the franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad to a title win in 2016. Warner has extensive experience of donning the skipper hat in the Indian Premier League and Delhi will be hoping for him to again churn out a wonderful performance.
Meanwhile, this is the first time in the last three years that the team will be playing on its home ground in Delhi. The Board of Control for Cricket in India has brought back the normalcy in the extravaganza by going back to the home-and-away format. Just like all the other nine teams, the Capitals will also be playing seven home games this season.
While they will play their first game against LSG, their campaign will conclude on May 20 at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi with a clash against Chennai Super Kings.
A look at last season’s performance
Delhi Capitals had a forgettable season last year in the Indian Premier League. After three years of good performance, the team failed to make it to the playoffs and finished in fifth place in the points table with seven wins and as many losses.
Rishabh Pant & Men got off to a good start as they hammered the Mumbai Indians by four wickets. However, they struggled to maintain momentum and consistency and ended up losing almost every alternate game.
Toward the end of the league stage, the equation boiled down to the Capitals needing a win in their last game against the Indians to reach the Eliminator. However, Tim David and Jasprit Bumrah spoiled the chances of the 2020 finalists as MI cruised to a win by five wickets.
New signings ahead of the 2023 IPL season
Delhi Capitals were rather quiet during the IPL 2023 mini-auction. They entered the event with a purse of INR 19.45 crore and a total of five vacant slots. The team management made some smart choices as they shelled out a decent amount of money to gain the services of four players.
Mukesh Kumar emerged as the biggest signing for the team with an amount of INR 5.5 crore, while Delhi also spent INR 4.6 crore for Rilee Rossouw. Phil Salt and Ishant Sharma were the other two inclusions in the team for INR 2 crore and INR 50 lakhs, respectively.
Meanwhile, before the auction, the side brought in Aman Khan by trading Shardul Thakur to the Kolkata Knight Riders. Notably, DC is yet to name a replacement for Rishabh Pant in the squad.
Predicted Starting XI
Prithvi Shaw, David Warner ©, Phil Salt (wk), Sarfaraz Khan, Mitchell Marsh, Lalit Yadav, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Mukesh Kumar, Anrich Nortje, Chetan Sakariya
Delhi Capitals have a dynamic batting unit because of the presence of David Warner, Prithvi Shaw, Mitchell Marsh, Rilee Rossouw, and Rovman Powell. All the aforementioned players are known for their hard-hitting abilities and it is something that the other teams will have to be wary of.
Moreover, they have one of the best spin attacks in the league because of Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav in the squad. Axar has been making headlines in the recent past because of his exceptional performance, both with the bat and the ball. Meanwhile, Kuldeep has also capitalized on every chance he has received in international cricket for India. Notably, Axar and Kuldeep were also standout performers for the team in the last season.
The wicketkeeping slot will be one of the major concerns for the team in the 16th season. With Rishabh Pant ruled out, the Capitals have only one wicketkeeper-batter in the form of Phil Salt.
However, for including the Englishman in the team, DC will have to exclude one of the power-hitters, Mitchell Marsh, Rilee Rossouw, or Rovman Powell, from the playing XI. The team is required to find a good Indian wicketkeeper-batter at the earliest to fill the void left by Pant.
Also, the Capitals have an inexperienced pace unit with Khaleel Ahmed and Chetan Sakariya. Due to the overseas players’ limitation in playing XI, DC is likely to play only one between Anrich Nortje and Mustafizur Rahman. The presence of two inexperienced seamers on the side can cause big trouble for the Capitals.
Another issue that DC might have to deal with in the 2023 edition is the lack of a good Indian middle-order batter. Though they picked Manish Pandey in the auction and have Sarfaraz Khan, none of the players have been in very good form lately. At the moment, without Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw looks like the only good Indian batter in the squad.
Delhi Capitals are likely to make big changes in their playing XI for the season but still, the team has a fair chance of doing good. The responsibility will majorly lie on the shoulders of the opening pair of David Warner and Prithvi Shaw to take the Capitals to glory.
We are backing the Capitals to do well and reach the playoffs in the 2023 season after failing to achieve a spot in the top four last year.