Played 14 Won 9 Lost 5; Lost to Chennai Super Kings in Qualifier 2
Punter, Dada and their young army
Delhi Capitals might have failed to qualify for the final but their team management will be proud of the way they went about their business this season. The owners changed and they brought in Sourav Ganguly to form a solid think tank with Ricky Ponting. Two of the most successful captains allowed their batting unit to play their natural game and it paid off. The likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant were consistent throughout the season and even Prithvi Shaw chipped in with a couple of match-winning knocks.
It's also important to mention the way Kagiso Rabada led Delhi's bowling attack. He found ample support from the likes of Chris Morris, Amit Mishra, Axar Patel, Keemo Paul and Ishant Sharma.
What didn't work
Almost zero contribution from their foreign batsmen
Having formed a solid top-order ahead of the season, Delhi needed one experienced foreign batsman who could help them to finish matches. The franchise acquired Colin Ingram but the left-hander hardly contributed in any game. Even Colin Munro didn't do much in the four games that he played and that hurt Delhi in few games. Despite the top-four constantly providing good starts, Delhi collapsed in a couple of encounters and lost matches which they should have easily won. That's where the team management would have wanted someone like Ingram to chip in.
Shikhar Dhawan | Runs 521 | Matches 16 | Average 34.73 | Strike rate 135.67 | Fifties 5
Having been traded to Delhi ahead of the season, Dhawan looked slightly tied down in the first few games. The left-hander was scoring runs, but at a very slow pace which is not quite his style. Once the season went by, Dhawan started to look more comfortable and played his natural game. He first scored an unbeaten 97 - his best in T20s - against Kolkata Knight Riders before managing three consecutive fifties.
Apart from Dhawan, Iyer and Pant were also fairly consistent for Delhi. While Iyer finished the season with 463 runs, Pant managed 488 runs at a strike rate of 162.66.
Kagiso Rabada | Wickets 25 | Matches 12 | Economy 7.82
The South African paceman was ruled out two games prior to the playoffs and it was visible that Delhi missed his service in the last couple of games. The 23-year-old picked wickets in almost every game and also ended with two four-wicket hauls. He also won them a super over against Kolkata in which he came on top against in-form Andre Russell. Rabada led the bowling unit who did the job for Delhi in most of the games.
The 33-year-old only managed 184 runs in 12 games at a strike rate of 119.48. He didn't get much overs to bat but not once managed to play a standout knock. Ingram is a proven customer and was given the all-important role of finishing games for his side. The left-hander looked nowhere near his best and it won't come as a surprise if Delhi release him ahead of the next edition.
It's really tough to pick a player from a team which is filled with youngsters. The skipper is just 24 and the likes of Shaw, Pant, Rabada, Sandeep Lamichhane and many more are still on the right side of or below 20. Most of the players can easily stay with the side for the next six-seven years and that tells you that this team will only improve in the coming years. One can only imagine the kind of damage Shaw and Pant can cause once they get slightly mature.
Areas to improve for next season
Delhi need one solid foreign batsman whom they can rely on. Someone who can provide that finishing touch and get the team out of trouble from tough situations something that Russell, Hardik Pandya or MS Dhoni does for their respective teams. Apart from this, Delhi have all the ingredients to form a formidable side in the coming years.
First Published: May 11, 2019, 10:02 AM IST