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Will Team Delhi end their long wait for an Indian T20 League title?

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Team Delhi will continue their pursuit for an Indian T20 League title in the upcoming edition that starts from March 26.

Under captain Rishabh Pant, Delhi finished on top of the Indian T20 League 2021 league stage but fell short of a second consecutive final as they lost to Kolkata.

While they let go of some superstars in Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Ravichandran Ashwin, Marcus Stoinis, Avesh Khan and Kagiso Rabada in the player auction, Delhi spent a whopping INR 89.9 crore to assemble a squad that stands out as potential title contenders for Indian T20 League 2022.

Here we analyze what they have in the offering for the 2022 season.

Team Delhi squad

Ahead of the Indian T20 League 2022 mega auction, Delhi retained four players in captain Rishabh Pant (INR 16 crore), spinner  Axar Patel (INR 9 crore), opening batter Prithvi Shaw (INR 7.5 crore) and Anrich Nortje (INR 6.5 crore).

After retaining these four players, Delhi had INR 47.5 crore left in their purse for the mega auction.

In the two-day mega auction held in Bengaluru last month, they shelled out INR 10.75 crore on Shardul Thakur, making him one of the most expensive buys at the auction. The franchise also bolstered its ranks with overseas stars such as Mitchell Marsh (INR 6.50 crore), David Warner (INR 6.25 crore), Rovman Powell (INR 2.8 crore) and Mustafizur Rahman (INR 2 crore).

Team Delhi squad for Indian T20 League 2022: Prithvi Shaw, Anrich Nortje, Rishabh Pant (captain and wicket-keeper), Axar Patel, David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Shardul Thakur, Mustafizur Rahman, Kuldeep Yadav, Ashwin Hebbar, Sarfaraz Khan, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, KS Bharat, Mandeep Singh, Khaleel Ahmed, Chetan Sakariya, Lalit Yadav, Ripal Patel, Yash Dhull, Rovman Powell, Pravin Dubey, Lungi Ngidi, Tim Seifert, Vicky Ostwal

Team Delhi strengths and weaknesses

Strengths

Team Delhi will be heavily dependent on their batting strengths this term, as they will field a new opening partnership of Prithvi Shaw and David Warner. Warner, who returns to Delhi after eight years, is the leading overseas run-getter in Indian T20 League history and will be an early contender for the Orange Cap this season.

Delhi’s middle-order was found lacking last term but the additions of Mitchell Marsh and Rovman Powell could add much-needed stability in that department. Marsh, who played vital roles in leading Australia to their maiden ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and Perth Scorchers to the Big Bash League 2021 title, is expected to replicate his recent successes for his new Indian T20 League franchise team.

In Shardul Thakur, Delhi have one of the best domestic pace-bowling all-rounders who can contribute key knocks at the number eight slot besides providing decisive breakthroughs with the ball.

Weakness

One of the major areas where Delhi lacks some depth in the bowling department. The departures of Ravichandran Ashwin and Amit Mishra have left a deep hole in their spin options, with only Axar Patel recognized as a frontline spinner. While the franchise have roped in Kuldeep Yadav, it remains to be seen if the former Kolkata star gets a starting place ahead of the likes of Lalit Yadav and Praveen Dubey.

In the pace department, Delhi have not invested in any backup bowler and thus, will need to rotate their options that include Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi, Mustafizur Rahman, Shardul Thakur and Khaleel Ahmed.

As for batting, the only concern at hand could be the team’s vulnerability in big matches. While Delhi have usually built on solid starts at the top in recent seasons, the lack of a finisher who can maintain their momentum towards the end of an innings has time and again come back to haunt them.

Who can be the highest run-scorer for Team Delhi?

Last season, David Warner had one of his most disappointing Indian T20 League campaigns since 2009 as he amassed just 195 runs. However, the southpaw regained his composure as he amassed 289 runs in seven matches in the 2021 T20 World Cup.

He hit 32 boundaries in the tournament, joint-second for most boundary fours in a single T20 World Cup. With a new opening partner in the young Prithvi Shaw, David Warner will look to return to his best at the top of the order and provide Delhi with the best of starts.

Who can be the highest wicket-taker for Team Delhi?

Anrich Nortje will be Delhi’s front line pacer in Indian T20 League 2022 campaign. The South African pacer has 34 wickets in 24 career matches at an economy of 7.65. With compatriot Kagiso Rabada switching to Team Punjab, Nortje will lead the bowling order. 

Where will Team Delhi finish in Indian T20 League 2022?

Having reached the playoffs of the Indian T20 League in the past three seasons, Rishabh Pant-led Delhi are expected to qualify for the playoffs in Indian T20 League 2022. If their new-look team can play to their potential, there is no reason why they cannot qualify for the latter stage of the tournament.

Delhi Indian T20 League 2022 schedule, fixtures and match times

All times are in India Standard Time (IST)

Date Match Time Venue
March 27, 2022 Delhi vs Mumbai 3:30 PM IST Brabourne Stadium
April 2, 2022 Gujarat vs Delhi 7:30 PM IST MCA Stadium, Pune
April 7, 2022 Lucknow vs Delhi 7:30 PM IST DY Patil Stadium
April 10, 2022 Kolkata vs Delhi 3:30 PM IST Brabourne Stadium
April 16, 2022 Delhi vs Bangalore 7:30 PM IST Wankhede Stadium
April 20, 2022 Delhi vs Punjab 7:30 PM IST MCA Stadium, Pune
April 22, 2022 Delhi vs Rajasthan 7:30 PM IST MCA Stadium, Pune
April 28, 2022 Delhi vs Kolkata 7:30 PM IST Wankhede Stadium
May 1, 2022 Delhi vs Lucknow 3:30 PM IST Wankhede Stadium
May 5, 2022 Delhi vs Hyderabad 7:30 PM IST Brabourne Stadium
May 8, 2022 Chennai vs Delhi 7:30 PM IST DY Patil Stadium
May 11, 2022 Rajasthan vs Delhi 7:30 PM IST DY Patil Stadium
May 16, 2022 Punjab vs Delhi 7:30 PM IST DY Patil Stadium
May 21, 2022 Mumbai vs Delhi 7:30 PM IST Wankhede Stadium

Author: William Paul

Featured photo: AFP / NOAH SEELAM

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