Indian Premier League 2021 is set to begin on April 9 in Chennai with a mega clash between Royal Challengers Bangalore and defending champions Mumbai Indians at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium. Teams have already gathered across the two venues of the six where the opening round of fixtures will be played in Chennai and Mumbai and preparations for the mega-tournament are almost at completion before it gets underway.
Teams have strengthened themselves in the areas they believe will help them across the six venues in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai and Ahmedabad — in the IPL 2021 auction in February and will now be raring to go and get the job done in IPL 2021.
The Capitals picked up Steve Smith (INR 2.20 crore), Umesh Yadav (INR 1 crore), Ripal Patel (INR 20 lakh), Tom Curran (INR 5.25 crore), Sam Billings (INR 2 crore), Vishnu Vinod (INR 20 lakh) Lukman Meriwala (INR 20 lakh) and M Siddharth (INR 20 lakh) from the auction and released the likes of Keemo Paul, Sandeep Lamichhane, Alex Carey, Mohit Sharma and Tushar Deshpande.
Here we take a look at last year’s finalists and one of the most consistent sides in the tournament in Delhi Capitals:
Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (C), Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Chris Woakes, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, Lalit Yadav, Pravin Dubey, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Ishant Sharma, Avesh Khan, Steve Smith, Umesh Yadav, Ripal Patel, Vishnu Vinod, Lukman Meriwala, M Siddarth, Tom Curran, Sam Billings, Shreyas Iyer (withdrawn player)
Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Shimron Hetmyer, Steve Smith, Ripal Patel
Chris Woakes, Marcus Stoinis, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Tom Curran, Lalit Yadav
Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Ishant Sharma, Avesh Khan, Umesh Yadav, Amit Mishra, M Siddarth, Lukman Meriwala, Pravin Dubey
Rishabh Pant, Vishnu Vinod, Sam Billings
Ricky Ponting (Head coach), Mohammad Kaif (Assistant coach), Pravin Amre (Assistant coach), Ajay Ratra (Assistant coach), James Hopes (Fast bowling coach)
Delhi were one of the strongest sides last season along with Mumbai Indians but Shreyas Iyer’s absence could hurt them. Although they have a good back up in Smith, Rahane and Hetymyer, a player and leader of Iyer’s calibre will always be of great miss to any team.
In Iyer’s absence, Rishabh Pant will lead the side and he will have a big responsibility on him do well and take the side places as he was chosen ahead of the likes of Dhawan, Rahane, Ashwin and Smith, who are all experienced campaigners and have captained their IPL sides before.
However, Delhi will take heart from the fact that they have Shaw and Dhawan in sensational form coming into this year’s tournament and will be hoping they continue to be destructive at the top of the order and lessen the burden of playing an extra overseas batter in the absence of Shreyas.
Capitals’ bowling will again be spearheaded by the South African duo of Rabada and Nortje, who were one of the key reasons behind Delhi’s run to the final. They have also added Tom Curran to the mix, who could bowl his yorkers at the depth in case of an injury to any of the first-choice bowlers. Ashwin, Mishra will handle the spin department while Axar can be a handy option too if they want to extend their batting order a little bit as he can score quick runs towards the end of the innings.
DC will play their first match of the tournament against Chennai Super Kings on April 10 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.