Delhi Capitals emerged as one of the stronger teams on paper after the end of the Indian Premier League Auction 2022. It may not boast of one of the best, most threatening pace attacks of the league anymore now that both Avesh Khan and Kagiso Rabada have parted ways from the franchise but Delhi Capitals stayed true to its vision of being a largely young squad with hints of experience.
This vision brought them considerable success in the last few years as it qualified for Playoffs for three consecutive seasons and it comes as no surprise that they seem keen on building upon the same approach for the future years.
This was indication enough that they had gotten their formula and template in order but the lack of trophies to show also indicated that the approach needed a little shaping to fill in the missing puzzle piece that caused them to fall just short in decisive games. David Warner’s homecoming to Delhi after nearly eight years could just be that puzzle piece that pieces the final picture.
He may have been out of favour with his previous franchise, or in the auction room as the relatively less-intense bidding war suggested. But purely in terms of cricket value, acquiring David Warner at Rs 6.25 crore is a steal of a deal.
Apart from him, Delhi Capitals’ top buys in the auction were Shardul Thakur (Rs 10.75 crore), Mitchell Marsh (Rs 6.5 crore), Khaleel Ahmed (Rs 5.25 crore) and Chetan Sakariya (Rs 4.2 crore).
Players signed for DC
|Full name||Price (Rs cr)||Times over base price||Country||State Association||Age||Specialism||2021 Team||C/U/A||Base|
|Syed Khaleel Ahmed||5.25||10.50||India||RCA||24||BOWLER||SRH||Capped||50|
|Lungisani Ngidi||0.5||1.00||South Africa||26||BOWLER||CSK||Capped||50|
|Rovman Powell||2.8||3.73||West Indies||28||BATSMAN||Capped||75|
|Tim Seifert||0.5||1.00||New Zealand||27||WICKETKEEPER||KKR||Capped||50|
Possible Best Playing XI
Delhi Capitals entered the auction with the lowest price purse of Rs 47.5 crore after retaining four core players they built their team around. They retained Rishabh Pant (Rs 16 crore), Axar Patel (9 crore), Prithvi Shaw (7.5 crore), and their sole overseas retention Anrich Nortje (6.5 crore). In the auction, they filled a total of 24 spots to complete their squad.
DC full squad and possible XI
|DC||Price (Rs cr)|
Warner, the former Sunrisers Hyderabad captain, remained the leading run-getter for the franchise and the league for several years before things turned sour between the two. However, it does not take away the fact that he led the franchise to its maiden title victory in 2016 and his contribution as a batter remains a strength any franchise can bank on.
For a team whose core is still young, Warner’s experience can prove to be immense. In Warner, captain Pant will have someone on-field to contribute with some leadership inputs. Additionally, it instills a lot of security in the batting order with the responsibility well divided between Shaw, Pant and him.
We’ve witnessed what an opening combination of Warner and Shikhar Dhawan can do. We’ve also witnessed what an opening combination of Shaw and Dhawan can do. Now, it’s time for the two destructive openers to meet each other so we can witness what an opening combination of Warner and Shaw can do. If all goes well, the fireworks it can cause could be the stuff of T20 dreams.
And Mitchell Marsh has shown himself to a very destructive batter against pace at No 3 and it will be interesting to see whether Ponting decides to use him in a similar capacity for Delhi too.
The truly exciting thing about DC’s batting line-up is the flexibility that the middle-order batters bring with them. Marsh, Pant, Powell and perhaps, Sarfaraz Khan can be shuffled around, based on the conditions and match situation.
This side, in particular, has the luxury to experiment because of the batting depth. They bat till No. 8, where Shardul Thakur, India’s newest pace-bowling all-rounder can keep things steady for the lower middle order.
They have the heroes of Australia’s World T20 campaign (Warner and Marsh) and that they were able to acquire the duo for a meagre Rs 12.75 crore meant that they had aced the auction (at least on day one). The possibility of experimentation also exists for DC because they are likely to have 6-7 bowling options available, no matter the tweaks they make to their XIs.
Although one can expect coach Ponting to think things through before DC begin their 2022 campaign, the concern with the flexibility and dynamic changes that this Delhi Capitals will have the luxury of boasting about, is that it could also become really chaotic. It also requires some decisive execution from Rishabh Pant, on the field. He may have to take out a leaf from MS Dhoni’s book to be able to extract the best out of a player in specific phases of the game.
In comparison to the squads of recent years, DC’s pace attack doesn’t feel as threatening anymore. Call it the lack of pace options in the current squad, or the departure of both Kagiso Rabada and Avesh Khan, the bowling at the moment seems to rely heavily on Anrich Nortje to lead the attack. And that is tricky terrain with an overseas bowler who is prone to injury, considering the availability. Additionally, DC have made things tougher for themselves by not investing in a back-up overseas bowler for him whose primary strength is pace. They will have to count on Lungi Ngidi and Mustafizur Rahman to come good.
Similarly, Kuldeep Yadav will have to up his game and really turn things around from his 2021 campaign where he managed only 1 wicket in 12 matches. Otherwise, it is likely that he will not merit a place in the XI over Lalit Yadav or Praveen Dubey. In both scenarios, the pressure to keep things going in the spin department, which now looks weak, lies primarily on Axar Patel.
DC also seems to be relying on their batting depth to sort the ‘finishing department’. Their new buy Rovman Powell is also largely untested in Indian conditions. While it is clear that the teams were willing to invest so much in Shardul Thakur also because he is such a handy bat, but on paper, it seems like a lot of responsibility is entrusted upon him to keep the lower middle order in a good place.
Who’s saying what
Speaking about his team’s major buys at auction on Star Sports, Delhi Capitals’ co-owner Parth Jindal said, “David Warner, the guy who won Australia the T20 World Cup is back in Delhi. We welcome Davey, and all his Insta stories and his shenanigans to the Capitals. We cannot wait to have him at the Capitals.”
The Australian duo expressed their excitement about joining Delhi Capitals. David Warner said, “I am coming back to where it all started. I am really excited. Can’t wait to see you all very soon over in India. Looking forward to it.”
Meanwhile, Marsh expressed, “Good day, guys. I am absolutely stoked to be a part of Delhi Capitals team. What an amazing franchise so to be a part of. Looking forward to get over to India in a few months time and represent our fan base. See you guys there, soon!”