Nobody would have been more disappointed that Delhi Capitals when the IPL 2021 season came to a shuddering halt in the first week of May due to covid breach. The Rishabh Pant-led franchise was in fine form that saw them zooming to the top of the points table as they looked in prime position to make the cut for the playoffs.
With a gap of nearly four-and-a-month, the players are gathering together in the UAE for the resumption of the league and DC will be aiming to start from they were forced to leave in India. Whatever momentum they had, it’s in the past now.
Here, they start afresh.
And will have to hit the ground running, though they are just a couple of wins away from all but sealing a playoff berth. This is the back end of the tournament and thus, coach Ricky Ponting knows how important is it that the team continue to perform at its peak and ensure a top-two spot to give themselves the best chance of making a second straight final.
Ahead of the restart, the franchise received a positive news in Shreyas Iyer, who was ruled out of the season due to a shoulder injury, regaining full fitness and ready to resume competitive cricket. He led them to the final last season but an untimely injury meant DC were forced to name a new captain in Pant who will continue to lead the side for the remainder of the matches in UAE.
Delhi’s Season so far
Position: 1st | Matches Played: 8 | Matches Won: 6 | Lost: 2 | Points: 12
Remaining Matches (Six)
Sept 22: vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, Dubai
Sept 25: vs Rajasthan Royals, Abu Dhabi
Sept 28: vs Kolkata Knight Riders, Sharjah
Oct 02: vs Mumbai Indians, Sharjah
Oct 04: vs Chennai Super Kings, Dubai
Oct 08: vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, Dubai
Shikhar Dhawan - Matches Played: 8 | Runs Scored: 380 | Average: 54.28, Strike-rate: 134.27| Highest Score: 92
Avesh Khan - Matches Played: 8 | Wickets Taken: 14 | Average: 16.50 | Economy: 7.70 | Best Bowling in an Innings: 3/32
Team Changes - Two
While their middle-order has been further strengthened with the return of Iyer, they have somewhat suffered a setback in the pace department with Chris Woakes pulling out at the last moment. The franchise, till the publishing of this article, was yet to announce a replacement.
With 16 points traditionally being the cut off for ensuring a playoffs berth, DC just need two more wins to reach there. And they would want to do that as early as possible as the past is proof how quickly a team’s season can unravel with one slip triggering a string of defeats. Their two defeats of the season so far have come against Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore and they have to face them again.