Cricket / rishabh pant

IPL 2019 Dehli Capitals: Finding the Balance Between Raw Talent and Old Heads
Delhi Capitals (DC) or until they were recently known the Delhi Daredevils have never won the IPL. In fact, last year they finished bottom of the league with just 5 wins from their 14 matches. However, there is still a good deal to be excited about not only if you are a DC supporter but also if you are a fan of cricket in general because they possess 3 of the best young Indian talents around at the moment in the form of Prithvi Shaw, Rishab Pant and Shreyas Iyer. Having released 15 players and traded a further 3 in exchange for Indian superstar Shikhar Dhawan, Delhi now find themselves with the 2nd largest available salary cap and plenty of positions to fill, meaning that they should be very busy during the upcoming player auction. Shedding the Dead Weight of Gautam Gambhir Gambhir had been a fine player in his day and you never like to see a high calibre performer like that struggle quite as badly as he did in the IPL last year. However, the stats speak for themselves as Gambhir managed just 85 runs in his 6 appearances last year at a strike rate of 96.59. Given that all those innings came as an opening batsman where Gambhir had the opportunity to score quickly during the powerplay then you can see that his continued inclusion was a massive hindrance to Delhi's ability to make big totals. Of course, the fact that he was captaining the side made the decision to finally drop him that much harder and that much slower with Delhi already well behind the pack having lost 5 of those opening 6 games that he played in. Young Shreyas Iyer then took over the reins and delivered a 50% win ratio which had it have been achieved across the entire season would have been enough for Delhi to make the Knockout stages of the contest. Still getting some support around Iyer in the form of experienced pros will be essential if DC are to improve on last years performance. They have of course already taken something of a step in the right direction by signing Dhawan from Sunrisers Hyderabad, a deal that provides DC with a strong core of Indian players at the top of the order. Can the youngsters be consistent? I guess one of the big questions for DD and key to their success will be whether they can keep their young guns firing into the 2019 tournament. Rishbah Pant finished last season as the 2nd highest run scorer in the contest and the best Indian batsmen. Some of his ball striking is simply incredible and he has such fast hands that the bat is a blur as it swings through to crash the ball to the boundary. His form in 2018 led to him winning a Test debut against England against whom he scored a century at the Oval. He has since followed that up with a couple of half-centuries and cemented his place as India's first-choice wicketkeeper. DC will be hoping that he can continue where he left off last season. The expectations on any young athlete must be hard to live up to at times but spare a thought for young Prithvi Shaw who since he was a boy has been identified as the heir to the living cricketing deity that is Sachin Tendulkar. However, Shaw continues to take it all in his stride and but for an unfortunate injury would be opening the batting for India right now in their Tests against Australia. Shaw made his debut in the IPL off the back Gambhir being dropped and went onto to score more runs than any other player in the tournament who played less than 10 games. Despite having all the hallmarks of a classical batsman, he scored his runs at SR of 150+, demonstrating that he has all the attributes to become a global superstar. At the ripe old age of 24, Shreyas Iyer is something of a senior statesman when compared to the other 2 players but his learning curve is set to continue on a steep trajectory now that he has been handed the captaincy on a permanent basis. A classic stroke player who is also quick to use his feet and hit down the ground, Iyer has already been involved with the India ODI side on multiple occasions over the last year. He will be hoping that a successful IPL with the bat and as a captain might just help to secure him a late spot on the plane to England to play in next year's World Cup. . Nepal's great hope Nepalese cricket finds itself at an important crossroads. If it chooses the correct path then it's entirely possible that they can develop along the same lines that Afghanistan have in the last few years. However, if the infrastructure and administration aren't improved then it's going to prove difficult for them to progress. One thing that they don't lack is raw, natural talent and perhaps chief amongst the youngsters coming through is Sandeep Lamichhane who will spend another season at DC. His appearances last year were limited to just 3 games towards the end of the tournament when by all accounts his side were already out of contention. He did, however, show glimpses of his promise particularly in his last outing against Mumbai Indians where he dismissed 3 top order batsmen. With the experienced Amit Mishra generally being a disappointment for DC last season, Lamichhane could and perhaps should expect more cricket this time around. Again, it's worth considering how Delhi can get experienced players in and around him to support such a precocious talent. Potential signings for Delhi Capitals There is no doubt that DC will be one of the busiest sides in the upcoming auction. With the above-mentioned batting strength they have it seems unlikely that they will need many additions to the top order especially given that the Kiwi Colin Munro has been retained. However, their middle and lower order and all-round options probably could do with some reinforcements. Big-hitting New Zealander Corey Anderson could prove a good signing for Delhi and he has plenty of experience both in the IPL and playing in various franchises around the world. Primarily a number 5/6 batsman he does offer an option with the ball too. Elsewhere they could consider West Indies Shimron Hetmyer who has made a big impact in ODI cricket since making his debut last year that includes runs in India this autumn. Given that there will always be concerns about how foreign players will play in India, Delhi could be tempted to part with more money to sign him off the back of those performances a couple of months ago. Sticking with the theme of youth, they might also consider England's Sam Curran who has made himself available for the auction. Curran is another player who has had recent success against India, having been named man of the series in the games completed this summer. Looking closer to home, does Yuraj Singh have one last hoorah in him? He'd certainly provide that bit more experience to the side but would he just be this season's answer to Gambhir? I am sure that many sides will be taking a look at Axar Patel, capped 49 times by India in white ball cricket he is only 24 years of age and his off-spin would provide a very useful foil to the leg breaks of either Mishra or Lamichhane and he can also swing the bat down the order. Best 11 at the moment I've decided not to actually complete the 11 for Delhi given the huge number of players that they released and there will inevitably be big signings. As indicated above it's the middle and lower order that needs bolstering but as you can with what DC already have, if they get it right in the auction then they will have a formidable looking side come the new season 1.Dhawan 2. Shaw 3. Iyer 4. Pant 5. 6. 7. Morris 8. 9. Rabada 10. Boult 11. Mishra