Delhi Capitals will be entering the upcoming mega auction with the lowest price purse of Rs 47.50 crore. However, that may not end up being a big problem for them as the management seems to have clarity of thought around going about things in the coming years.

While they are already among the few franchises who have retained four players to preserve their existing core, the auction will reveal whether their unique selling point will continue to be a largely young franchise laced with a little experience in key areas.

Retaining Rishabh Pant did not come as surprise as the franchise has been consistent in backing the youngster, now as a leader. With Pant’s stocks rising in international cricket, their decision to invest in him has already given them the returns and it should remain the case for the foreseeable future. They have also retained an explosive top-order batter, a long-term investment and a back up leadership option in Prithvi Shaw.

A spin-bowling all-rounder in Axar Patel has already strengthened the Indian core that comprises of Shaw and Pant and sorted a lower-middle order hitting option. Their only overseas retention remains South Africa’s fast-bowler Anrich Nortje who could’ve been hot property if he entered the auction. He will be the leader of the pace-attack

Earlier, the Anrich Nortje-Kagiso Rabada duo made for a fiery combo for Delhi and this time too, the aim would be to have a duo that can ensure that the burden of getting things done is not dependent on one bowler or batter - something that the franchise has actively tried to course correct in the last couple of seasons and has been fairly successful in doing so.

Players retained by DC and their values

Players Value
Rishabh Pant Indian 16 Cr
Axar Patel Indian 9 Cr
Prithvi Shaw Indian 7.50 Cr
Anrich Nortje Overseas 6.50 Cr

DC IPL history

Season League stage finish Playoff result
2008 4th Lost in the semi-final
2009 1st Lost in the semi-final
2010 5th
2011 10th out of 10
2012 1st out of 9 Lost in Qualifier 1, lost in Qualifier 2
2013 9th out of 9
2014 8th
2015 7th
2016 6th
2017 6th
2018 8th
2019 3rd Won in Eliminator, lost in Qualifier 2
2020 2nd Lost in the final
2021 1st Lost in Qualifier 2

Recent auction history: Hit or miss?

The new ownership along with Ricky Ponting have tried to move away from the template of having one or two match-winners and instead focused on creating a line-up that can potentially have multiple people springing up on various occasions and in different match situations. They came close to winning the title in 2020 but were outclassed by Chennai Super Kings. The decisions at the auction table have definitely been a hit, considering they have qualified for playoffs for three consecutive years.

While Ricky Ponting reportedly not going to be available at the auction table this year, you could bet the franchise will look to replicate the successes of the recent past especially with the Indian talent pool.

Their most expensive recruits in the last three auctions are Colin Ingram (2019, Rs 6.4 crore), Shimron Hetmyer (2020, Rs 7.75 crore), Tom Curran (2021, Rs 5.25 crore). Apart from Marcus Stoinis, the franchise’s preference for Aussie and English overseas players hasn’t always paid off recently. While Hetmyer came good eventually, it has been an area of concern for Delhi to get their overseas buys spot on. Their record with trusting Indian talent, however, has been more impressive with Prithvi Shaw and Avesh Khan coming on board in 2018, then Axar Patel in 2019.

With the least purse available among all franchises, the team will likely be looking for fewer marquee names and more well-rounded first-choice squad options with a value for investment.

Any off-season changes since IPL 2021?

Ricky Ponting’s impact on the franchise has been immense and he will continue to coach the franchise this season. DC’s Assistant Coach Pravin Amre and head of talent scouting Saba Karim will feature during the auction in Bengaluru. There are no official coaching staff changes announced by the franchise yet. Having consistently made it to the playoffs, stability seems to be the name of the game.

Speaking about head coach Ricky Ponting and Captain Rishabh Pant’s involvement in the mega auction process, Karim said, “Eventually, it is the captain and the coach who put up the side in the IPL. It’s very important to have that kind of exchange of ideas with them because whatever we as a scouting team offer, will come in handy and become extremely effective if it has synergy with the head coach and the captain, so in that sense, it’s been excellent.”

Who’s saying what

DC’s owner Parth Jindal is one of the few voices in the corporate side of the league who have voiced their displeasure against the concept of auctions. He had said while retentions were announced, “It is heartbreaking to lose Shreyas Iyer, Shikhar Dhawan, Kagiso Rabada and (R) Ashwin. The auction process is like this. Going forward, the IPL needs to look at it because it is not fair that you build up a team, give youngsters a chance, groom them and they get opportunities for the franchises and play for their country and then you lose them after three years. IPL needs to have a relook.”

Whether that happens or not, the focus will be on finding a good Indian core again that will hold the franchise in good stead for a few more years. It is the overseas recruitment where Ponting does have a tendency to miss more than hit.

Amre, who will be at the table, stated that there will be a lot of competition at the auction and it is important to be prepared for all the challenges.

“This mega auction is always a big challenge, especially when two new teams are there. We know that there will be a lot of competition, we know that some franchises will be having more money, and that’s when all the expertise and all the auction experience will count. A lot of study has to be done, it’s not going to be that easy, and I think it’s all about the preparation. It’s really important to be prepared for all the challenges that are going to come, so these are very important factors, especially in a mega auction,” said the former Indian cricketer.

Overall purse remaining for all 10 teams

Franchisee Salary cap remaining (Rs cr) Open player slots Open overseas player slots
Chennai Super Kings 48 21 7
Delhi Capitals 47.5 21 7
Kolkata Knight Riders 48 21 6
Lucknow Super Giants 59 22 7
Mumbai Indians 48 21 7
Punjab Kings 72 23 8
Rajasthan Royals 62 22 7
Royal Challengers Bangalore 57 22 7
Sunrisers Hyderabad 68 22 7
Gujarat Titans 52 22 7