Delhi Capitals will be eager to get past the line in the Indian Premier League 2021 which will see its second phase start from September 19 onwards in the UAE. The first phase of the season was suspended midway back in May after the players were impacted by COVID-19. With half the season over and the action shifting from India to UAE, there is every possibility for DC to come out all guns blazing. One can note that DC finished as the runners-up in IPL 2020 which was held in the UAE behind closed doors.
This season, they have played good cricket and lead the points tally as well. Notably, DC have collected 12 points from eight matches and are just two wins away from registering a berth in the playoffs. Also, the return of Shreyas Iyer, who had missed the early part of the season due to an elbow injury, is positive news for the franchise. DC are a well-balanced outfit and they have all the attributes backing them to go on and make a serious impact. Here we decode five reasons why DC may go on to win the IPL 2021 title.
1. A fancied batting unit
DC’s solid batting unit is one of the pivotal reasons for their success as a unit. Last season, DC did a tremendous job on the UAE pitches before falling short in the final. With Iyer’s return, the middle-order gets more cushion. What separates DC is the top-notch opening pair of Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan. Their understanding of the game and willingness to back one another often sees DC make good starts. With Rishabh Pant, Marcus Stoinis, Steve Smith, and Shimron Hetmyer in the ranks, DC have a world-class unit to fetch runs in the shorter boundaries of the UAE stadiums.
2. Dhawan’s presence is massive
One can keep lauding senior Indian cricketer Shikhar Dhawan for his immense role in this DC side. The southpaw is the leading run-scorer in IPL 2021. He scored 380 runs from eight matches back in India at 54.28. Dhawan hit three fifties with the best score of 92. He has smashed 43 fours (highest) and eight sixes. What makes Dhawan stand out is his caliber to bat long and take the game close. The side revolves around him. Last season, he smashed 618 runs in UAE and that backs his ability to go out and score heavily in the rest of DC’s campaign.
3. Pant’s captaincy a bonus
Rishabh Pant was asked to lead the side in Iyer’s absence and he came out firing in all cylinders. Pant read situations well and handled the bowlers to make key changes in pivotal situations. He was duly helped by senior R Ashwin and Dhawan. Despite Iyer’s return, the DC outfit has chosen to continue with Pant as the leader. DC does not want to change the momentum and backing Pant to continue is the right move. Moreover, the return of Iyer will only help Pant more in his all-round approach.
4. A solid pace battery
DC’s ability to win matches lies a lot on their bowling. This season, Avesh Khan has stood out as the surprise package. He has scalped 14 times to be the second-highest wicket-taker in the tourney. Avesh will want to continue in the same vein on the UAE pitches. To back him, are South African speedsters Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje. Rabada has claimed eight wickets this season but Nortje hasn’t bowled. However, looking at the success of these two in IPL 2020, DC will want to get them fired. Nortje had claimed 22 wickets last season. He is aiming to replicate his achievements alongside Rabada. Tom Curran and Umesh Yadav add more depth and variety.
5. DC’s spin quartet could make merry
The UAE pitches are slow in nature and DC, who boast of variety in their spin attack, will fancy themselves. Axar Patel has six wickets in IPL 2021 and his left-arm spin will be massive. He claimed nine wickets last season. Amit Mishra also has six wickets under his belt. The veteran spinner may not play all the games but can do a job when called upon. Lalit Yadav and R Ashwin bring more cushion and comfort. Their astounding roles in the middle overs may help DC tie-down opposition teams.