It is no secret that Delhi Capitals are currently a pale shadow of the team that started the tournament with six wins from eight matches. Between them and a place in the final stand a formidable Sunrisers Hyderabad, who boast a strong team. The same can’t be said about the Capitals though, who are plagued by some serious batting woes.
Against Mumbai Indians, they got off to the worst start by an IPL team in the history of the tournament, coupled by the collective failures of their top-order batsmen. Hence, batting is DC’s main concern at the moment and in order to rectify it, or at least add some strength to it, a West Indies batsman is likely to return for the crunch tie. Here’s a look at the possible team DC may field against Sunrisers.
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1 Ajinkya Rahane: Despite not making the most of the opportunities given to him, DC would be better off promoting Ajinkya Rahane as opener along with Shikhar Dhawan hoping the former India opening pair could provide the team the start Prithvi Shaw has been unable to.
2 Shikhar Dhawan: Left-handed Shikhar Dhawan has been a fine performer for DC this year with 525 runs but in the last seven innings, has scored two centuries, three ducks and a half-century. Against SRH, DC could really do with a third century of the season.
3 Prithvi Shaw: In the middle or a horror slump, it wouldn’t be the worst idea for the Capitals to drop Prithvi Shaw down to No. 3 in order to protect him from the early swing.
4 Shreyas Iyer (Captain): Even though Shreyas Iyer has scored over 400 runs for his team this season, the DC skipper is yet to come up with that one impactful performance, barring his 88 early in the tournament. What better occasion than this to lead his team to a maiden IPL final?
5 Shimron Hetmyer: This is the big change we were talking about. Daniel Sams was less effective against MI and bringing the big-hitting Shimron Hetmyer can make a word of difference to the DC batting. Let him play with freedom and the ace might just work
6 Rishabh Pant (Wicketkeeper): Well, it’s been that kind of season for Rishabh Pant hasn’t it? The timing is amiss and the big shots refuse to come. Against the likes of Rashid Khan and Shahbaz Nadeem, his task would be cut out even further but if everything clicks, he can ever tear the same attack to pieces. DC surely would be hoping for it
7 Marcus Stoinis: After having to come out early against MI, Marcus Stoinis the allrounder will have to shoulder bowling responsibilities if Hetmyer is given a go and Sams is rested. With the bat, we’ve seen what he’s capable of.
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8 Axar Patel: Bowling all-rounder Axar Patel has flown a bit under the radar this season. While all the clamours have been about Rashid and Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar has been remarkable in his performance this season. Tight overs and cameos with the bat. What else can a team ask for from his No. 8?
9 R Ashwin: R Ashwin is coming off a three-wicket haul against MI and along with Axar, he will be hoping to stifle the SRH batting line up.
10 Anrich Nortje: Anrich Nortje has really come of age in this IPL, generating pace, hitting the perfect line and length and picking wickets. He will be hoping for a couple of more impactful performances before rejoining the South African team.
11 Kagiso Rabada: Despite expensive outings against MI, it should not be forgotten that Kagiso Rabada is just two scalps behind Jasprit Bumrah as the leading wicket-taker of the tournament and will have his eyes on that Purple Cap.