Are DC the team to beat in IPL?

Delhi Capitals

After two weeks of frantic IPL action, its not the Chennai Super Kings or the Mumbai Indians, but it is the Delhi Capitals-who have caught everyone’s imagination and for a reason.

Not only they have a solid team, but they’ve also developed the nack of winning matches-despite not being at their best. This makes them the team to beat as others scramble for consistency.

The title has eluded Delhi over the years and whether they have a championship-winning side is up for debate, but this is a team that can compete against the best. Undoubtedly, DC’s strength is its Indian contingent. In addition to having Iyer, Shaw, Pant and Dhawan, the franchise have added Ashwin and Rahane to the mix.

The early part of the tournament might be dominated by players who have been in form in the last few months. DC, in that sense, will look to their overseas players to hit the ground running.

Delhi Capitals captain Shreyas Iyer gestures after beating RCB. Photo credit: BCCI

DC and Shreyas Iyer

That they are led by Shreyas Iyer, who has matured a lot in his role in the last couple of years, apart from being their batting mainstay.

Iyer seems to be a calm but mature leader despite these being early days in his captaincy career. The burden of captaincy has not affected his batting and he has scored more than 400 runs in the previous two IPL seasons. Right talent needs the right coaching system to flourish and DC certainly have that.

While Ponting has the job of preparing the players, Iyer certainly knows how to get the best out of them on the field. This term, there are a lot of expectations on the Capitals as they finally shun the ‘underdogs’ tag and head into the tournament as one of the favourites. They are certainly living up to the billing of being favourites.

They might not have the ‘flash in the pan’ names, the franchise has invested in players who have a plethora of experience under their names and are capable of producing results in any conditions. A silver lining for DC of Amit Mishra being out of the tournament is that the Capitals could bring their economical bowler Axar Patel back.

DC and Ricky Ponting

In coach Ponting, Delhi have a proven match-winner as a player and coach. The young squad could benefit a lot from his guidance. And in Iyer, the team has one of the Indian players who was in great form before the lockdown. He has shown himself to be a smart leader and will want to prove himself once again.

In Shaw, Iyer and Ashwin, Delhi have three Indian players who can provide solid contributions but the match-winning potential that Pant possesses is, arguably, second to none. Ponting has been a huge advocate of Pant’s talent, and if he can get the best of the dasher, DC will thrive.

Ashwin has tons of experience under his hood, which is certain to come in handy. Patel also has quite some experience playing in the IPL and Team India.

Delhi Capitals suffered two major blows before the IPL as the English duo of Chris Woakes and Jason Roy pulled out of the entire season. Despite the loss, the Capitals have the team which will challenge the best in IPL 2020. After a decent start, the franchise sits pretty atop the IPL table with four wins in opening five matches.

For Delhi, it is not only about winning but winning handsomely. Coach Ricky Ponting has stressed on this fact that they have to be ruthless in situations and not let the opposition claw their way back.

On Monday too, it was important for them to double down on their dominance, especially in light of the 2019 season, where they had as many points as the top two sides in the league phase but finished third on the run-rate, denying them the route offering two cracks at the final.

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