In two full seasons as the captain, Shreyas Iyer first ended Delhi’s seven-year wait to enter the Indian Premier League playoffs in 2019. Then in 2020, he led Delhi Capitals into the final, ending a wait that extended back to the first season. Part of the IPL since inception, Delhi were the only side that had never entered the title clash. That was finally rectified.
Any team that does not end up winning the title wonders about a few ‘what if?’ scenarios. For Delhi, it would involve their batting order. What if Prithvi Shaw played to his potential at the top of the order? What if they had figured out a way to play Shimron Hetmyer all through the season? What if they had switched to opening with Marcu Stoinis much earlier in the campaign?
What if they had not allowed Trent Boult to go to Mumbai Indians?
But once those questions die down, coach Ricky Ponting and the management can look back on a campaign where definite improvements were made.
Delhi's results in every IPL season
|Season||League stage finish||Playoff result|
|IPL 2008||4th||Lost in the semi-final|
|IPL 2009||1st||Lost in the semi-final|
|IPL 2011||10th out of 10|
|IPL 2012||1st out of 9||Lost in Qualifier 1, lost in Qualifier 2|
|IPL 2013||9th out of 9|
|IPL 2019||3rd||Won in Eliminator, lost in Qualifier 2|
|IPL 2020||2nd||Lost in the final|
There was one common factor in DC’s first and last wins of the season: Marcus Stoinis’ heroics. Finishing the season with the best all-rounder tag in IPL, Stoinis went some distance in adding balance to the side that was missing in 2019. He was the only player with 350+ runs and 10+ wickets in the tournament.
The campaign itself was a bit of a rollercoaster for Delhi as they looked to be title favourites at one point. With five wins in their first six matches, they started on the front foot. Then came the first of four defeats to Mumbai Indians, which began to derail the momentum of Delhi. They managed to sneak into the top two despite poor late season form and were thrashed again by Mumbai. Credit to the franchise for recovering in time to beat Sunrisers Hyderabad but the all-round brilliance of Rohit Sharma and Co proved too good for them in the final once again. Ishan Kishan and Boult were thorns in their flesh all season long.
DC's match results in IPL 2020
|DC vs KXIP||Dubai||DC won Super Over|
|CSK vs DC||Dubai||DC won by 44 runs|
|DC vs SRH||Abu Dhabi||DC lost by 15 runs|
|DC vs KKR||Sharjah||DC won by 18 runs|
|RCB vs DC||Dubai||DC won by 59 runs|
|RR vs DC||Sharjah||DC won by 46 runs|
|MI vs DC||Abu Dhabi||DC lost by 5 wickets|
|DC vs RR||Dubai||DC won by 13 runs|
|DC vs CSK||Sharjah||DC won by 5 wickets|
|KXIP vs DC||Dubai||DC lost by 5 wickets|
|KKR vs DC||Abu Dhabi||DC lost by 59 runs|
|SRH vs DC||Dubai||DC lost by 88 runs|
|DC vs MI||Dubai||DC lost by 9 wickets|
|DC vs RCB||Abu Dhabi||DC won by 6 wickets|
| MI vs DC |
|Dubai||DC lost by 57 runs|
| SRH vs DC |
|Abu Dhabi||DC won by 17 runs|
| MI vs DC |
|Dubai||DC lost by 5 wickets|
There will be questions asked about Delhi’s batting performances in the post-season analysis, but unarguably the star of the show was Shikhar Dhawan. Far too often, Dhawan’s consistent run-scoring in IPL has come with the caveat of slow strike-rates. But for the third season running, he finished with a SR of 130+ and at 144.73, 2020 was his best season by some distance. Add to that, six 50-plus scores that included historic back-to-back centuries as Dhawan crossed 600 runs in a season for the first time in his IPL career. It was a season so good that he did so despite registering four ducks.
A 500-plus season for Shreyas is no mean feat either but he struggled to win matches for his side consistently. The better performances came early in the tournament, while he played a solid hand in the final again.
The real disappointments were Rishabh Pant and Prithvi Shaw: two young Indian batsmen, who were thought to be the cornerstone of this DC batting, flattered to deceive in 2020. Shaw faded away after a good start while Pant seemed to be too caught up in playing safe cricket, before showing what he is capable of in the final. It was, overall, a poor season for both of them.
Most runs for DC in IPL 2020
|Shikhar Dhawan||17||618||106*||44.14||144.73||4 (2)|
Two South African pacers led the way for Delhi this season with some fiery bowling. In Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje, it was a tale of two contrasting success stories: the former expected to lead the attack and deliver, the latter a last-minute replacement in the squad who went on to clock 150+ kph for fun. In Ashwin and Axar Patel, DC also had able foils for their pacemen. Their performances in the back-end dipped rather alarmingly (except maybe Ashwin) but overall, the bowlers (backed by Stoinis) had a season to remember.
Most wickets for DC in IPL 2020
While IPL 2020 qualifies as an undoubted success, in the end, Delhi Capitals were found wanting by a superior Mumbai Indians side. It just showed the amount of work Delhi (and indeed, the rest of the teams) face in terms of preparation for the next season.
Video highlights of all DC matches in IPL 2020
Highlights videos courtesy: iplt20.com