IPL 2023 has initiated its last leg, and most teams are still evenly scattered. With an average of 4 games remaining for every team, there is still a chance for anyone to proceed.
But the likelihood of SRH and DC qualifying for the playoffs is almost gone. Delhi Capitals have been struggling in the IPL for years now. After this year’s mega-auction, the fans had high hopes for the team. However, DC has failed to leave any mark on the competition, standing at the bottom of the table.
After playing 10 cricket matches, DC has only won 4 games to secure 8 points. While there is still a statistical chance for Delhi Capitals to qualify, the possibility reaches astronomical numbers for that to happen.
But why did a team with IPL experts like David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Axar Patel, Manish Pandey, and Kuldeep Yadav fail? Let’s see.
Why Delhi Capitals Struggled in IPL 2023
It is safe to say that the Delhi Capitals failed on every cricketing front, leading the team to the bottom of the table.
The struggle started even before the tournament as DC lost Rishabh Pant to injury. The left-handed opener cost 16 crores in the auction and was set to captain the team. However, Pant got into an accident, ending his chance of playing in IPL 2023 altogether.
Pant’s loss was increased by lackluster performances by DC batsmen. Despite boasting explosive players like David Warner and Mitchell Marsh, it is Axar Patel who has scored the most 6s for the team.
On the other hand, the all-rounder is the 2nd most run scorer for the team, despite coming at number 5. No player from the team is contesting for the Orange or Purple Cap, while in previous seasons, David Warner was always in the hunt for the former.
It seems like the player has been struggling with the captain’s role. Warner has scored 330 runs for DC but at a strike rate of 120. A batsman as renowned as Warner for his hitting skills scoring only 2 sixes in 10 games shows how the team has lacked.
Even T20 veterans like Manish Pandey have failed the team, scoring only 133 runs in 8 matches. The player had consistently scored 300+ runs in most IPLs despite playing in the middle order. This subpar performance is the reason why Delhi has not posted any 200+ scores in IPL 2023.
Although bowling has been a relatively better area for DC, it is still far from being good. No Delhi Capitals bowler has gotten 10 wickets this season. Mitchell Marsh has taken the most wickets for the team, and the player only joined them mid-season. Even a wicket-taking specialist like Kuldeep Yadav has only secured 8 wickets for the team.
A lack of strong middle-order batting put pressure on David Warner at the top. This resulted in the player scoring at a strike rate of 120, eventually leading to the middle order facing even more pressure.
Inconsistency all around the team
While inconsistency has been a problem for most teams in IPL 2023, the struggle is even worse for the Delhi Capitals.
The team has only one batsman over 300 runs and one batsman over 200 runs this season. Even as the top scorer, Warner has been struggling to produce meaningful partnerships for DC. Other than Axar Patel, no Delhi batsman has been scoring consistently for the team.
To think that Axar Patel has been the first pick for fantasy players on best cricket betting sites over Warner and Marsh represents the team’s performance aptly.
That is why the team has replaced its middle-order multiple teams. Manish Pandey is the only player in the middle order who has played 8 matches for DC. The rest have been dropped after 4-5 matches throughout IPL 2023.
The same goes for the lower order, where the team lacks a finisher, like Rinku Singh, Nicholas Pooran, or Andre Russel. That is why despite IPL 2023 breaking the record of most 200+ scores, DC has failed to be a part of even one such inning. The highest the team has gone is 187 at the very start of the competition against RCB.
Delhi’s bowling attack has helped the team to clutch some victories. They have restricted the table-topper GT to 125, SRH to 137, and KKR to 127. However, a lack of consistency in wicket-taking has limited such performances to a handful.
In 10 matches each, the spinners have only gotten a total of 15 wickets. The addition of Impact Sub is the reason why spinners have taken 192 wickets in IPL 2023, the most for any season. However, Delhi has failed in that regard as well. Source
As for the pacer, the team lacks any genuine speedster aside from Anrich Nortje, who has only taken 7 wickets. With 9 wickets, Mitchell Marsh is the highest wicket-taker for DC as a batting all-rounder. It goes to show how lackluster the DC bowling attack has been throughout the season.
Is Warner’s captaincy to blame for DC’s downfall?
The Delhi Capitals have David Warner as their captain and Ricky Ponting as their coach. Both players have proved their worth as team captains and management in international cricket and IPL alike.
Thus, to lose their skills suddenly after joining DC is questionable. The team lost its morale early on with Rishabh Pant getting injured in the off-season. After that, it has been a downward spiral for the team.
The primary fault lies in DC’s team balance. DC has failed to construct a squad where the openers can play without bounds, a middle order that can capitalize or support the openers, and a lower order with hitting capabilities. The team also lacks a wicket-taking duo, unlike most IPL teams.
With an imbalanced team, Delhi Capitals are suffering in every area. The team has no standout opener to support Warner, a subpar middle-order, and a lackluster lower-order.
Delhi has benched several players after 4-5 matches without getting any relevant results. Potent players like Sarfaraj Khan, Mustafizur Rahman, and Prithvi Shaw have also been dropped without any support.
That is why the team is struggling at Rank 10 with only 4 wins. If the Delhi Capitals are still to qualify for the playoffs, the team needs to be consistent in their performance while maintaining high morale.
The team might not qualify even after winning all 4 remaining games, so they should go all out at this point. Since the team has nothing to lose, the players should play their natural game from now on.