Delhi Capitals have had a decent run in IPL so far. Since their inception in 2019 when they replaced Delhi Daredevils, Capitals proved to be quite a hit among Delhiites. This team had a connection. Unlike Daredevils who hardly won. Under Jindals, the brand new Delhi franchise played to their full potential, finishing 4th in 2019, 2nd in 2020, and 4th again in 2021. And just when it was expected that they will go full throttle in 2022, they ended up finishing at fifth (out of top four). Delhi’s season was start stop-start. Moreover, they tried to win dirty with skipper Rishabh Pant, coach Ricky Ponting and assistant coach Pravin Amre being reprimanded. Team lost points on fair play and in the end, they buckled under pressure on the final day of their campaign. Except for David Warner, Delhi’s batting line up never came to the party; skipper Rishabh Pant averaged 30, Prithvi Shaw averaged 28-lower than the batting average of Axar Patel. It was that kind of a season.

High point of the Season: Beating Mumbai Indians in the season opener. Delhi Capitals came into the season with a lot of hype. The management had let go of their players, yet, they had acquired some great replacements. But all of that was on paper. Nonetheless, that talk became reality when they beat Mumbai Indians in their own backyard. It was a stiff chase of 178 with DC stuttering at 72/5. From this point on, Axar Patel (38 off 17) and Shardul Thakur (22 off 11) counter-attacked as DC managed to get 75 off 30 balls. It was a heist, pulled off in the most calculated manner. Unexpected yet breathtaking.

Low Point of the Season: Rishabh Pant asking his batters to leave field against RR. This will be in the collage of IPL 2022 in case the broadcasters think of making one. Scenes of an angry Pant asking his batters to leave the field shocked fans and attracted condemnation from all quarters. DC were chasing a mammoth 223 and they needed 36 off final over. Rovman Powell had hit the first three balls for six. As the bowler got ready to deliver the fourth ball, DC dugout protested saying the last ball must be given a no-ball on height. When umpires refused, a frustrated Pant demanded his batters to leave the field. He even asked his assistant coach Pravin Amre to rush to the middle. While Amre was banned for a match, Pant was penalised 100 percent match fee. Also, they lost the game and crucial two points.

Major disappointment: Rovman Powell. Though Jamaican played some good knocks which attracted eyeballs, the truth is they were far and few. He accounted for exactly 250 runs in 14 games with just one fifty. That’s an average of 25. His strike rate was 149—below than Warner’s. DC would have wanted a better ROI (Return on Investment) after being paid INR 2.8 Crore to acquire his services.

Season verdict: After having sum up DC’s campaign, let’s not forget that the side was hit by Covid-19 midway through the season not once but twice. Nonetheless, this couldn’t be an excuse as teams now remain prepared for such a contingency in post-covid world. Moreover, the season will be a stark reminder of poor on-field conduct by DC. Coach Ricky Ponting could have easily been accused of intimidating match officials in a game against KKR. Pant and Amre were penalised for bad behaviour against RR. On a positive note, the season will also be remembered for the comebacks of David Warner and Kuldeep Yadav. Furthermore, Shardul Thakur, Khleel Ahmed punched above their weight. Axar Patel showed he can be groomed into one of the cleanest hitters of the ball, but his spin is very much one dimensional. The likes of Prithvi Shaw and Sararaz Khan once again failed to affirm their ability to win matches. Just like DC, they too remain a work in progress.

Captaincy verdict: Below average. Rishabh Pant might be just 24, but he has played a hell lot of international cricket. He has toured Australia, England not once but twice; images of Gabba still fresh. A young man with that exposure can’t be casual on the field. On occasions, he lost his temper (read RR fiasco), then he dropped sitters (read Dewald Brewis) and smiled in the aftermath. Kuldeep Yadav, who had a great IPL, was underbowled on several occasions. Chetan Sakariya, youngster with a promise, played just three games just because he leaked runs. Rovman Powell played all the games despite not clicking consistently.

Most valuable player: David Warner: Back from Pakistan, Warner set IPL on fire with three back-to-back fifties. All three were flawless. He had a point to prove after SRH furor, and he delivered by going all guns blazing. He ended up scoring 432 runs in 12 matches with an average of 150! Had he played all 14, he would have been a contender for Orange Cap.

Statistics

Most runs: David Warner (432)

Most wickets: Kuldeep Yadav (21)

Highest individual score: David Warner, 92 vs SRH

Best Bowling Figures: Kuldeep Yadav, 14-4 vs KKR

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