After being consistent underperformers, this might well be the year for Delhi and we take a look at their strengths, weaknesses and also predict where they'd finish.
Captain Reliable - In Gautam Gambhir, Delhi have a captain who knows what it takes to win the IPL. He has delivered for Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi will be hoping that he can do the same for them after investing Rs 2.80 crore in him. He knows how to work with the younger players and is also an asset for the team in terms of getting the crowds to the stadium. The only drawback might be a clash of personalities with coach Ricky Ponting - as both are aggressive in nature - which could hamper the team.
Pacers Aplenty - Delhi could have a potential pace bowling attack of Kagiso Rabada, Trent Boult, Mohammed Shami and Chris Morris. Though, Rabada and Boult are likely to play in rotation but Delhi has a lot of options on paper. They will be hoping that the track at Kotla supports them and is not a low-slow pitch. In Harshal Patel and Avesh Khan, the team has more than decent domestic bowlers, who have proven themselves in the league.
World Class Openers - Gambhir will have more than able supportive opening partner in Colin Munro. For back up Delhi have Jason Roy and also local talent such as Manjot Kalra and Prithvi Shaw. Gambhir's job will be to provide the stability so that his partner from the other end can go berserk. Delhi will certainly be a team to watch this year!
Inexperienced middle-order - Delhi's middle-order is prone to collapses and that is something they will have to guard against. Pant, Maxwell and Iyer are all big hitters but none of them are as reliable as Delhi would like. A lot of responsibility will lie on Iyer to provide stability to this batting line-up.
Glenn Maxwell was the key player for Punjab, but after a rollicking start to his IPL career in UAE, where he announced himself, Maxwell hasn't been as consistent as he would like to be. With a strike-rate of 164.50 and 6 half-centuries to his name, he certainly has the x-factor.
In Ponting, Maxwell has a coach who trusts him and backs him to deliver, something a player like Maxwell needs. Also, in this Delhi line-up he can just focus on his batting without the burden of captaincy.
It would be a real disappointment to see this Delhi team miss out on the top 4 and they should be one of the top two teams. A likely championship contender on paper.
Delhi DaredevilsGautam GambhirGlenn MaxwellIPL 11IPL 2018kagiso rabadamohammed shamiricky pontingTrent Boult
First Published: April 7, 2018, 11:10 AM IST