After years of heartbreak and substandard performance, Delhi Capitals finally announced a new name last year and it looks like that the new name brought some luck for them as they qualified for the playoffs for the first time after seven seasons. Under the young captain Shreyas Iyer they had some memorable victories including a super-over victory against KKR. Last year they traded in Shikhar Dhawan to strengthen their top order which worked pretty well for them. This time they were even more active during the player trading window and signed two big fishes in Ravichandran Ashwin and Ajinkya Rahane from Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals respectively.
With their new signings, Capitals now boast a batting line up Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant and they also had other regular Indian players in R. Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra and Axar Patel. Their overseas talents include Kagiso Rabada and Sandeep Lamichhane, the leg-spinner from Nepal who now has gained experience of playing T20 leagues around the world.
Delhi still needs a few gaps to fill and the most important of those will be the inclusion of a top-class all-rounder. They have released Chris Morris and will look for a like-for-like replacement in Jason Holder, Carlos Brathwaite or Marcus Stoinis.
They would also like to have some fast bowling options along with Rabada, Ishant, Avesh Khan, and Harshal Patel. Their possible options can be Mohit Sharma, Jayadev Unadkat or Barinder Sran from Indian players or they can go for overseas stars like Sam Curran, Andrew Tye, Nathan Coulter-Nile or Adam Milne.
For Rishabh Pant, it will be a very important IPL as he will look to be back in form and cement his place in the Indian squad for the next year’s World T20 among competition from Dinesh Karthik and Ishan Kishan. Currently, he is the only designated wicketkeeper in the squad and adding a back up for him should be a key focus area in Capital’s planning for the auction. They can go for Sam Billings who has some IPL experience with Chennai Super Kings or for Prabhsimran Singh who is released by KXIP. Alternatively, they can also go for the New Zealand wicketkeeper Tim Seifert who has an international T20 strike rate of 138 plus in his 19 T20I matches for his national team.
Delhi Capitals would look to build on their great showing last year and having a good auction will be key for them.