Delhi may have been rechristened to Capitals ahead of the 2019 edition of the Indian Premier League but they have enough firepower to live up to their old name and be the daredevils in the 12th edition of the franchise league.
The franchise from India's capital finished with the wooden spoon last season and has acquired the services of Shikhar Dhawan in a bid to turn things around. The team has also snapped up Axar as cover for the departing Vijay Shankar who was one of three players traded with SunRisers Hyderabad for Dhawan.
Here's a look at what Delhi Capitals can achieve under the leadership of young Shreyas Iyer.
- Delhi has a good mix of youth and experience in their squad for the upcoming season which will add a dose of method to the fearlessness. The likes of Dhawan, Colin Ingram and Chris Morris will act as perfect foils to the likes of Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw and Sandeep Lamichhane.
- The team is flooded match-winners and game changers who can, on their day, take a game way to win it on their own. Pant is one of the primary names in this regard as he showed last season that he can be a major player in the tournament.
- The team still looks top heavy. The franchise decided to trade Dhawan for two middle-order batsmen Vijay Shankar and Abhishek Sharma. Dhawan joins Prithvi Shaw, Colin Munro and Manjot Kalra as possible opening choices. Although the middle order does have Ingram but it lacks proven Indian talent. Even the likes of Pant and Iyer are top-order batsmen while Hanuma Vihari is yet to make his mark in the limited-overs format.
- The franchise from India's capital lacks quality Indian fast bowlers. They snapped up Ishant Sharma in the auctions but his style of bowling suits the longest format of the game. Although the team has Kagiso Rabada as an overseas option, it remains to be seen how long he will stay given the World Cup which follows the IPL.
- Delhi has nothing to lose as they have been the perennial underperformers of the IPL. Thus, it allows them to play freely and their plethora of stroke-makers to express themselves. Delhi Capitals has the chance of playing without much pressure which can help them finish in the top four for the first time since 2012.
- Pant has been disappointing in the Indian jersey but his IPL form last year brought him a call up to the national team. Hence, another strong performance could see him eclipse Dinesh Karthik and make to India's World Cup squad.
- It could all go wrong for Delhi if they lose a couple of matches on the bounce. The precedent of consistently finishing in the lower half of the table will cast doubts in the minds of players who are not used to winning too much. Even Gautam Gambhir's presence could not help them out last year, so they will have to guard against losing matches on the trot.
Shreyas Iyer (C), Prithvi Shaw, Rishabh Pant (WK), Manjot Kalra, Colin Munro, Chris Morris, Jayant Yadav, Rahul Tewatia, Harshal Patel, Amit Mishra, Kagiso Rabada, Trent Boult, Sandeep Lamichhane, Avesh Khan, Hanuma Vihari, Axar Patel, Ishant Sharma, Ankush Bains (WK), Colin Ingram, Sherfane Rutherford, Keemo Paul, Jalaj Saxena, Bandaru Ayyappa