Transfer Window Overview
Retained: Shreyas Iyer (c), Prithvi Shaw, Rishabh Pant, Avesh Khan, Amit Mishra, Harshal Patel, Jayant Yadav, Manjot Kalra, Rahul Tewatia, Colin Munro, Chris Morris, Sandeep Lamichhane, Kagiso Rabada, Trent Boult.
Released: Gautam Gambhir, Junior Dala, Liam Plunkett, Jason Roy, Mohammed Shami, Sayan Ghosh, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Daniel Christian, Naman Ojha, Glenn Maxwell.
Traded: Shikhar Dhawan from Sunrisers Hyderabad for Abhishek Sharma, Vijay Shankar, Shahbaz Nadeem.
Salary cap available: Rs. 25.50 cr
Available slots: 10 (Indian 7, Overseas 3)
Daredevils Capitals took a big step in turning their fortunes overhead by releasing as many as 10 players, headlined by veteran captain Gautam Gambhir. The Delhiite was seriously out-of-form and even abdicated his captain’s armband right in the middle of the 2018 season. The move, however, was not received with a lot of optimism on social media, especially from Gambhir’s fans.
Delhi then took another big risk of trading 3 players in the form of Vijay Shankar, Abhishek Sharma, and Shahbaz Nadeem to sign Indian opener and localite Shikhar Dhawan from Sunrisers Hyderabad. It is expected that the experienced opener will help in grooming young prodigies like Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, and Prithvi Shaw among others. They also announced that Shreyas Iyer would be the captain for their newly christened side.
With the 2019 IPL Auctions approaching fast, we take a look at the top 5 players that Delhi Capitals should target this time.
#1. Shimron Hetmyer
The rising West Indian prodigy, Shimron Hetmyer caught the eye of all Indians after hitting 106 off just 94 balls in the first ODI against India back in October. In fact, he was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dismal WI side. In the 17 matches that the youngster has played, he has already scored 3 centuries with a strike-rate of 108.53. His form means he would be in huge demand in the auctions. Since Delhi Capitals have a huge purse of Rs. 25 crores, buying the left-handed batsman would not be a problem for the franchise.
Hetmyer can play as an opener or can slot in the number 3 spot. In partnership with Shikhar Dhawan, he could thus give a blazing start to Delhi Capital’s innings.
#2. Alex Hales
Alex Hales is a natural aggressive strokeplay. The Englishman mostly plies his trade in the top order along with Jason Roy for the national side. Hales has a knack for scoring big hits, evident from his 171-run blitz playing against Pakistan. England had registered an ODI record total of 444 in that match.
Over the years, he has developed a reputation of being a T20 specialist, having amassed over 5,174 runs in the format.
In Hales, Delhi Capitals would get a world-class opener. Moreover, playing with Shikhar Dhawan he will provide a crucial left hand-right hand combination, then they can go for Alex Hales. Delhi has a young side and a player of Hales’ experience can do wonders.
#3. Ishant Sharma
Blame it on injuries or lack of form, Ishant Sharma has always had a difficult relationship with IPL. Even after being a prominent figure in the national team setup, especially in the overseas series, the feet tall pacer has failed to crack the IPL nut. Things came to a head when he went unsold in the 2018 IPL auctions. Nonetheless, he utilized this time to play county cricket and rightfully earned his spot in the India tour of Australia.
Having released Mohammad Shami, Delhi Capitals have a big void to fill in. Who better than an experienced pacer from Delhi itself. If he can stay fit for the most part of the season, Sharma could prove to be a vital cog in the young Delhi side. With a big question mark on the participation of Indian bowlers in the latter part of the season, Ishant Sharma would be a unique buy here as well. (Sharma comes at the lower end of the pecking order that includes Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, and Hardik Pandya, thus reducing the probability of his availability for the full season.)
Sharma can swing the ball in both the directions and can occasionally come up with 140+ kmph deliveries. At a base price of Rs. 1 crore, he will be a smart buy for Delhi Capitals.
#4. Barinder Sran
Talking about Indian pacers, another bowler DC could target in case they fail to land Ishant Sharma is Barinder Sran. Sran is a seasoned player in Punjab’s Ranji Trophy team and plied his trade with Kings XI Punjab last season. In just 4 matches that he played for the KXIP, he returned with an impressive tally of 6 wickets.
Along with that, Sran also has an average of 25.85 in 37 T20s in his career so far, another fine stat for the bowler. At just 25, he could also fit well in Delhi’s approach to playing young talent, and feature in their long-term plans.
#5. Axar Patel
Axar Patel could be acknowledged as the find of 2014 IPL season when he had scalped 17 wickets. Axar is one of the most experienced spin bowlers in the 2019 Auctions. So far, the 24-year-old has managed to pick up 92 wickets in 101 T20s.
The Delhi Capitals have veteran spinner Amit Mishra in their ranks, but the side lacks another experienced spinner. Along with Mishra, Axar could form a formidable spin partnership. The USP of Axar’s bowling is his highly impressive economy rate of 7.52 over his 4 year-long IPL career. This makes the signing of Axar Patel a no-brainer.