Evaluating the Delhi Capitals 2021 IPL Squad

| March 7, 2021 5:44 am PST
2021 Delhi Capitals Squad Analysis

The Capitals broke a 12-year jinx by reaching their very first IPL final last season, only to fall to the Mumbai Indians at the last hurdle.

The Delhi franchise released some high-profile players soon after, with overseas stars such as Jason Roy, Alex Carey, and Keemo Paul leaving the club. However, the Delhi Capitals squad for 2021 still looks formidable.

Aussie hero Steve Smith was bought in the recent IPL auction, along with English pair Tom Curran and Sam Billings. Given that DC’s roster is already stacked with high-profile names like Shikhar Dhawan, Kagiso Rabada, and Marcus Stoinis, the 2021 Delhi Capitals squad is arguably stronger now than it was last year.

This post details everything you need to know about the Delhi Capitals squad for the 2021 Indian Premier League season, covering overseas players, roster depth, and the likely DC XI for the upcoming campaign.

First up, let’s check out the 2021 Delhi Capitals squad.

Delhi Capitals Squad in 2021

Here is the Delhi Capitals 2021 IPL squad in full. The franchise picked up a number of notable names at the auction, with the new arrivals highlighted in bold below.

Assessing DC’s Batsmen

  • Ajinkya Rahane
  • Prithvi Shaw
  • Rishabh Pant (wk)
  • Sam Billings (wk)
  • Shikhar Dhawan
  • Shimron Hetmyer
  • Shreyas Iyer (c)
  • Steve Smith
  • Vishnu Vinod

Of course, the most notable addition to the Capitals’ batting line-up – and the entire squad – is Steve Smith. The world-class Aussie was released by RR during the offseason, and DC didn’t think twice about paying 2.2 crore to acquire his services.

The prospect of Smith teaming up with homegrown stars like Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer is certainly exciting for DC fans. After all, both Dhawan and Iyer finished the 2020 IPL season among the top five run-scorers.

LEADING RUN-SCORERS (2020 IPL SEASON)
Player Team Innings Runs
KL Rahul Punjab Kings 14 670
Shikhar Dhawan Delhi Capitals 17 618
David Warner Sunrisers Hyderabad 16 548
Shreyas Iyer Delhi Capitals 17 519
Ishan Kishan Mumbai Indians 13 516

West Indian big-hitter Shimron Hetmyer has been retained for the upcoming season, along with exciting young Indian starlets Privthi Shaw and Rishabh Pant. The Delhi Capitals squad for 2021 clearly isn’t short on top-quality batting options.

Englishman Sam Billings was also picked up in the auction, adding an interesting dimension to the DC team.

All-Rounders for DC

  • Axar Patel
  • Chris Woakes
  • Lalit Yadav
  • Marcus Stoinis
  • Ravichandran Ashwin
  • Ripal Patel
  • Tom Curran

The Capitals’ all-rounder options are arguably the strongest in the competition, with overseas stars such as Chris Woakes and Marcus Stoinis retaining their place in the 2021 DC squad, alongside local heroes like Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel.

Not only was Stoinis the Capitals’ third-highest run-scorer last season, but he also finished the campaign joint-third on the DC wicket-taking leaderboard.

Following spells with KKR and RR, Tom Curran is now a Delhi Capitals player. The England international struggled to make an impact for the Royals last term, but he could easily become a key performer for DC, as there is no doubting his ability.

DC’s Bowlers in 2021

  • Amit Mishra
  • Anrich Nortje
  • Avesh Khan
  • Ishant Sharma
  • Kagiso Rabada
  • Lukman Meriwala
  • Manimaran Siddharth
  • Pravin Dubey
  • Umesh Yadav

If last season’s wicket-taker leaderboard is anything to go by, the Capitals undoubtedly boast one of the deadliest bowling attacks heading into the 2021 campaign.

Kagiso Rabada secured the Purple Cap after claiming 30 scalps last year, while Anrich Nortje picked up 22 wickets. Let’s not forget that all-rounders Ashwin and Stonis also notched up 13 wickets each last term.

LEADING WICKET-TAKERS (2020 IPL SEASON)
Player Team Innings Wickets
Kagiso Rabada Delhi Capitals 17 30
Jasprit Bumrah Mumbai Indians 15 27
Trent Boult Mumbai Indians 15 25
Anrich Nortje Delhi Capitals 16 22
Yuzvendra Chahal Royal Challengers Bangalore 15 21

Of course, the legendary Ishant Sharma needs no introduction. The veteran paceman is set to team up with another experienced Indian bowler this year – Umesh Yadav.

Yadav definitely improves the Delhi Capitals squad for 2021, bringing a wealth of knowledge to the franchise. In my eyes, Yadav was one of this year’s best auction selections.

Overseas Players for Delhi Capitals in 2021

DC’s overseas players look set to play a key role for the franchise this year. Below, I assess all eight overseas players for the Delhi Capitals in 2021.

Sam Billings

After re-establishing himself as one of the top T20 wicket-keeper-batsman during an impressive Big Bash League campaign with the Sydney Thunder earlier in the year, Billings has been given another chance to show what he can do in the IPL.

The Englishman played two seasons for the Capitals (2016 & 2017) before spending two years at CSK (2018 & 2019). If he can replicate the form that he showed throughout BBL 10, it could be a very welcome return for Billings.

Shimron Hetmyer

It’s fair to say that Hetmyer is still finding his way in the T20 world. However, over the past couple of seasons, the 24-year-old has proved that he has the potential to become an important player for the Delhi Capitals in 2021.

Having started out at RCB in 2019, the West Indies international enjoyed a solid debut campaign for DC last year. His ability to score quick runs could help the Capitals to achieve back-to-back final appearances in 2021.

BEST STRIKE RATES FOR DELHI CAPITALS IN 2020 (PLAYERS WITH 12+ GAMES)
Player Strike Rate
Marcus Stoinis 148.52
Shimron Hetmyer 148.00
Shikhar Dhawan 144.73
Axar Patel 137.64
Prithvi Shaw 126.52

Steve Smith

Eyebrows were raised when RR chose to release Smith during the offseason. Granted, the Australian endured a below-par 2020 IPL campaign. But the 2021 Delhi Capitals squad is undeniably stronger with Smith on board.

The supreme batsman is likely to come straight into the team at number three, adding even more depth to the DC line-up. However, his arrival could also see fellow Aussie Stoinis struggle to hold down a place in the starting XI.

Chris Woakes

Woakes was bought for 1.5 crore at last year’s IPL auction but didn’t end up making an appearance for the Capitals in 2020. The Englishman pulled out of the competition citing personal reasons, but he is back and ready to fight for his place in the team this year.

But with other high-class all-rounders such as Patel, Stonis, Ashwin, and Curran all vying for a middle-order spot in Ricky Ponting’s XI, Woakes will probably have to bide his time and wait for opportunities in 2021.

Marcus Stoinis

Having shone with both bat and ball for DC last season, Stonis was arguably one of the Capitals’ best players in 2020. But following another disappointing BBL campaign with the Melbourne Stars, I don’t think the big-hitting Aussie is necessarily guaranteed a place in Ponting’s XI this year.

Following the auction, the Delhi Capitals 2021 roster is now stacked with depth and quality. Still, let’s be honest – Stoinis is an excellent option to have, right?

Tom Curran

I’m excited to see what Tom Curran brings to the DC squad in 2021. The English all-rounder is obviously a special talent, yet he hasn’t been able to fully exhibit his ability in the Indian Premier League in recent times.

Now at the Capitals, Curran has been handed a fresh start in the IPL. He could even break into the team from the get-go if he does enough to impress the franchise’s coaches during the pre-season.

Anrich Nortje

Nortje’s debut IPL campaign could not have gone much better. The 27-year-old claimed 22 scalps on his way to finishing fourth on the overall wicket-taker leaderboard last season, frightening opposition batsmen with his blistering pace.

In fact, Nortje’s 156.22 km/h (97 mph) delivery against the Royals last season is officially the quickest ball in IPL history. Given that he was only brought in as a replacement for the absent Woakes, the South African turned out to be an inspired addition.

Kagiso Rabada

Rabada continued to cement his status as one of the best T20 pacemen on the planet last year, finishing the 2020 IPL season as the tournament’s leading wicket-taker.

If the Johannesburg native can pick up where he left off last term, he could easily bowl the Capitals to a second successive IPL final in 2021. MI duo Jaspirt Bumrah and Trent Boult both starred for the champions in 2020, but Rabada ultimately clinched the Purple Cap.

KAGISO RABADA (2020 IPL SEASON)
Matches Wickets Runs Best Figures Average Economy
17 30 548 4/24 18.26 8.34

The Delhi Capitals’ Best Player in 2021

Picking just one standout player for the Capitals isn’t easy. I mean, one glance at DC’s 2021 squad, and it’s easy to see why the Delhi franchise is among the bookmakers’ favorites to win the comp this year.

Having said that, it is difficult to look past one man – Shikhar Dhawan.

The devastating big-hitter moved up to fifth in the all-time IPL run-scoring charts following yet another stellar season last year. Only KL Rahul racked up more runs than Dhawan last term, while the DC star was the only player to register two centuries in 2020.

Finishing the previous campaign with 618 runs, an average of 44.14, and a strike rate of 144.73, Dhawan was pivotal to his side’s run to the 2020 IPL final. If he posts those kinds of numbers again this year, the Capitals could find themselves in another final.

When it comes to discussing the best Delhi Capitals player in 2021, there are plenty of worthy candidates. Rabada and Nortje are destined to wreak havoc with the ball again this year, while Smith could prove to be one of DC’s standout performers.

But at the end of the day, nobody can really argue that Dhawan won’t be the Delhi Capital’s best player in 2021.

Predicted XI for the Delhi Capitals in 2021

There are likely to be a number of big-name players that struggle to nail down a place in the Delhi Capitals XI in 2021.

Dhwan and Heymyer look set to open the batting again, with Rabada and Nortje leading the bowling attack. But elsewhere, Ponting is spoiled for choice, with multiple top-quality middle-order options to choose from.

Here is the likely XI for the 2021 IPL season.

  • Shikhar Dhawan
  • Shimron Hetmyer
  • Steve Smith
  • Shreyas Iyer
  • Rishabh Pant
  • Marcus Stoinis
  • Ravichandran Ashwin
  • Axar Patel
  • Umesh Yadav
  • Anrich Nortje
  • Kagiso Rabada

I can see Smith slotting in nicely at number three, while Yadav could feature in the lower order to bolster the team’s batting depth. But in my eyes, any number of players could feature between number four and number eight.

Highly-rated youngsters like Pant and Patel will almost certainly be given opportunities to show what they can do. But with overseas stars such as Curran, Woakes, and Billings waiting in the wings, no player’s spot is safe.

Ultimately, the strong competition for places in the 2021 Delhi Capitals squad can only be a good thing for the franchise.

What Can the Delhi Capitals Achieve in 2021?

DC may have lost a number of big-name players during the offseason, with the likes of Roy and Carey leaving the Delhi franchise. But after enjoying a successful 2021 IPL auction, there is no reason why the Capitals can’t reach the final again this year.

Keeping hold of key performers such as Dhawan and Rabada is obviously a big plus for DC, but the 2021 Delhi Capitals squad has been bolstered further by the signings of Smith, Curran, Billings, and Yadav.

DC’s 2021 roster boasts strength in depth in every department, with world-class options everywhere you look. Needless to say, coach Ricky Ponting will be licking his lips at the prospect of trying to fit all of the superstars into his best XI.

In my opinion, the Capitals possess one of the strongest squads in the Indian Premier League this year.

Fancy learning about the stat leaders from the previous IPL campaign? If so, make sure you check out the 2020 IPL player statistics.

Stat Leaders from the 2020 Indian Premier League Season

When it comes to the Indian Premier League, I love looking back at the player stats at the end of each season. We all know that the Orange Cap is awarded to the top run-scorer, while the leading wicket-taker wins the Purple Cap. But when you delve a little...

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Ben Morris
Ben Morris

Ben is a sportswriter and tipster who specializes in soccer. Currently based in the UK, he has traveled all around the world watching – and betting on – his beloved sport.

Alongside his regular soccer content, Ben publishes blogs and picks for cricket, Formula 1, Aussie rules, darts, and various other sports.

Ben is a diehard fan of Nottingham Forest and England, so he hasn’t had much to cheer about in recent years!

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