Delhi Capitals return to action after the IPL 2020 final in Dubai where they lost to Mumbai Indians. A largely unchanged unit from the last season, DC will miss regular captain Shreyas Iyer who has been ruled out of the tournament due to a shoulder injury. Rishabh Pant has been given the captaincy of the team in Iyer’s absence and the 23-year-old captain’s first challenge will be against a team led by MS Dhoni, the master under whose apprenticeship Pant learned his ways in international cricket. DC have also added Steve Smith to their squad and he is likely to bat in the top three if in the XI, said head coach Ricky Ponting.
Here are the DC players to watch out for
Pant is in the form of his career so far and has gone from strength to strength since the New Year’s Test in Sydney against Australia earlier this year. His match-winning knock in the fourth innings of the Brisbane Test that helped India clinch the series was followed by a breathtaking hundred in the fourth Test against England before he capped off the season with knocks of 78 and 77 in the last two ODIs.
Pant has 2079 runs from 68 IPL matches at a strike rate of 151.97 and although he endured an ordinary run in IPL 2020, his current form shows that he has put the last season’s disappointments far behind.
Ashwin, too, was one of the stars of the India’s 2020-21 international season. After playing a crucial role in saving the Sydney Test, Ashwin starred with the ball and bat in the Tests against England.
He was one of the standout performers of DC last season with 13 wickets from 15 matches that took his overall tally 138 wickets from 154 matches.
Capable of using the long-handle as well, Ashwin can contribute as a lower-order hitter as well, and with his IPL experience he could be one of the vital cogs in the DC XI.
Along with Pant, Hetmyer is another power-hitter who can score from ball one. He scored 185 runs from 12 matches last season at a strike rate of 148 and with the IPL back in India on batting-friendly pitches, Hetmyer could be doubly-dangerous.
Overall, Hetmyer has 1585 runs from 80 T20s at a strike rate of 130.45 with one century and eight half-centuries.
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