After a runner up position in 2020 edition , the Capitals are motivated to do one better this year . However they suffered a big blow with existing captain Shreyas Iyer injuring his shoulder during England series and now out for 5 months . Shreyas looked in great touch during England series and hence his batting form will be missed in middle order.
With Shreyas gone , the captaincy (after lots of debate in media circles ) has been handed over to Rishabh Pant , fresh from his exploits in Australia and in home series vs England accross formats . Pant has totally changed his fortunes with sheer hard work on his batting and keeping and looks fresh and strong to lead Delhi .
The team composition is superb with players for all conditions . Dhawan is expected to be the mainstay of the batting with consistently strong performances in IPL and he is closely behind Kohli and Raina in all time greatest IPL batting charts amongst Indian players .
The other opener , Prithvi Shaw should be in good touch to start with after breakout performances in domestic cricket since his setbacks in Australia.
The number 3 will be an interesting debate with superstar Steve Smith in the mix . Smith’s T20 impact has been far less than his his phenomenal Test record and ODI exploits . Just about managing to get a team in IPL 2021 , Smith will be determined to prove a point or two if he starts in the XI . However India’s victorious captain in Australia , Ajinkya Rahane is also another middle order candidate specially with injury to Shreyas though Rahane’s form has taken a dip since his MCG 100.
Rishabh Pant should be batting at four for Delhi followed by powerful Marcus Stoinis . It remains to be seen whether Delhi goes with the stability of Rahane in middle order or the strong hitting of Lalit Yadav .
The bowling looks strong as ever with Axar Patel and Ashwin forming the spin duo with Amit Mishra as backup followed by the South African pace duo of Rabada , Nortje followed by one of Ishant and Umesh .
Delhi further has a great set of overseas backups in Sam Billings, Chris Woakes , Shimron Hetmyer and Tom Curran all of whom can fill in for any possible injuries. Hetmyer can be a frontrunner in 1st eleven as well .
A strong bowling attack capable of performing in all conditions . A formidable batting lineup as well
Shreyas Iyer’s loss will hurt them . choosing an XI will so many foreign players in the squad can be stressful .
Delhi will play most of the games in Kolkata followed by Ahmedabad , Chennai and Mumbai. The Kolkata pitch can be handy for Delhi fast bowlers.
Dhawan , Shaw , Smith , Pant , Rahane / Lalit Yadav , Stoinis , Axar , Ashwin , Rabada , Nortje , Umesh
Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (C, wk), Shreyas Iyer (injured), Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Lalit Yadav, Avesh Khan, Pravin Dubey, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmyer, Chris Woakes, Steve Smith, Tom Curran, Umesh Yadav, Ripal Patel, Vishnu Vinod, Lukman Meriwala, Manimaran Siddharth, Sam Billings.