December 16 2018
Delhi Daredevils have the worst record in the history of the Indian Premier League. In eleven seasons, they have never made it to the finals and have finished dead last in the group on four different occasions. But change seems to be on the horizon as they have revamped themselves ahead of season 12.
After changing their name to Delhi Capitals, they have released several players including their former skipper Gautam Gambhir, Jason Roy, Junior Dala, Liam Plunkett, Mohammed Shami, Sayan Ghosh, Daniel Christian, Glenn Maxwell, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, and Naman Ojha. They will head into the IPL auctions in Jaipur with a massive purse of Rs 25.3 crores, needing to buy 10 players.
The main concern for Delhi will be that the departed players made a combined total of 62 appearances last season which is the more than the corresponding number of the other 7 IPL teams, including Kings XI Punjab who only have 10 players left on their roster. Apart from signing part-timers, Delhi will also need a few players who can feature in their Starting XI consistently and that is going to cost them a huge chunk of their purse.
They have made one valuable addition by trading with Sunrisers Hyderabad ahead of the auction and signing Shikhar Dhawan. Their opening four slots read Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant. That’s as explosive as any top order in the IPL and if these four fire for Delhi, that would be half the battle won.
But they can always do with some additions in batting firepower. If they are looking for foreign recruits, D’Arcy Short and Heinrich Klaasen are interesting options. Both of them are proven T20 players but still have a point to prove in the IPL. With Shahbaz Nadeem also having departed, Delhi can do with a big hitter. Shimron Hetmyer is the obvious option but since he is not going to come cheap, Sarfaraz Khan is an alternative.
They already have a consistent all rounder in Chris Morris. But they should have a backup in case he gets injured again like he did last season in which case James Faulkner is the ideal candidate. Same is the case in the spin department. They already have veteran Amit Mishra. Axar Patel could support him from the other end and can also add valuable runs down the order.
Which brings us to the bowling department. With Mohammed Shami being released, Kagiso Rabada and Trent Boult are the main pacers for Delhi Capitals. They will need to add one or two more to their roster. Barinder Sran and Ishant Sharma are interesting Indian options but if they are to look overseas, Sam Curran and Morne Morkel are the frontrunners.
A lot has changed for Delhi Capitals since last season and the team is now co-owned by GMR and JSW. After changing the name, the team will also be looking for a change in fortunes and it all boils down to who they sign in the auctions. After 11 indifferent seasons in the wilderness, you get the feeling that this could be the season when they finally prove their worth. Whether they are going to be genuine contenders or if this will prove to be another false dawn, only time will tell.