Peaking at the Wrong Time DC Endure Another ‘Almost There’ Season
It was a strange IPL season for Delhi Capitals; at one moment, they were off to their second straight IPL final right on the next, they were out. Delhi Capitals were the team to beat throughout the group stages as they defeated almost every franchise this season apart from Royal Challengers Bangalore, who did a double on them. Delhi Capitals players performed throughout the season individually as well, with Shikhar Dhawan and Avesh Khan finishing in the top five of the Orange Cap and Purple Cap list, respectively.
Rishabh Pant’s team missed out on qualification for the IPL final in a matter of balls. In Qualifier 1, CSK beat them on the third-last ball of the match, and then in Qualifier 2, Rahul Tripathi hit the match-winning six on the penultimate ball of the game.
IPL 2021 Record: Played: 16; Won: 10; Lost: 6; Standing: 1st (group stage)
The entire group stage! They were top of the table with 20 points to their name when the group stage ended. Like mentioned earlier, they beat almost every team this season apart from Royal Challengers Bangalore. However, their win over CSK in the group stage was a proper champion-like performance. First, their bowlers restricted CSK to 139, and then DC batters chased down the target in 19.4 overs.
Their loss against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the last match of the group stage essentially derailed their season. RCB needed 15 off the final over, and KS Bharat hit Avesh Khan for a six off the last ball to help RCB register a double over DC. Delhi Capitals were never the same after that.
Rishabh Pant was handed over the captaincy after Shreyas Iyer was ruled out with a shoulder injury, and he adapted to his new role like a natural. His batting performance also matured as he restrained himself from unnecessary aggressive batting. It was no surprise when DC decided to retain him as a captain even after Shreyas Iyer returned. A future India captain do we have here?
Most valuable player
Avesh Khan? Shikhar Dhawan? Anrich Nortje? There are a lot of contenders for the MVP title. Avesh Khan, with 24 wickets to his name, finished as the second-highest wicket-taker of the season. With another 400+ runs season and the experienced opener, Shikhar Dhawan finished as one of the top five run-getters of the season. Then there’s Anrich Nortje, who with his express pace often troubled opposition batters. He ended with an economy of 6.16, the best by any bowlers who have bowled more than 25 overs this season.
Their middle order. The top three batters did the heavy lifting throughout the season, with Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, and Rishabh Pant scoring 587, 489, and 419 runs, respectively. None of the other batters crossed the 250-run mark.
A good season but the trophy continues to elude them. This season also helped Rishabh Pant announce himself as a leadership figure and a responsible batter.
Most runs: Shikhar Dhawan (587)
Most wickets: Avesh Khan (24)
Highest individual score: Shikhar Dhawan (92 v PBKS)
Best Bowling Figures: Amit Mishra (4/24 vs MI)