Dubai: Delhi Capitals — runners-up in the 2020 Indian Premier League in the UAE — will find the competition “challenging” as their rivals consolidated their teams for the next edition of the IPL at Thursday’s player auction, said captain Shreyas Iyer.
“It’s going to be challenging because if you look at the other teams, they have also framed their teams in a pretty unique way and obviously the core and strength have been pretty much similar for all the teams,” he said. “The IPL can surprise you at any point in time and I feel this season is going to be more exciting.”
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Delhi have never won the IPL title in 13 attempts, though they came close to closing the deal a few times. Last year, they lost to Mumbai Indians by five wickets in the final played in Dubai. Iyer was the top scorer with an unbeaten 65 off 50 balls in the final, but his team faltered with the bat and managed just 156-7 in 20 overs. Mumbai Indians overhauled the target to win with eight balls to spare.
During Thursday’s IPL player auction, Delhi bought experienced players such as former Australia captain Steve Smith and England speedster Tom Curran along with four talented Indian players — Lukman Meriwala, Ripal Patel, Vishnu Vinod and Manimaran Siddharth.
“We have maintained our core unit from the last season and the new players that have come in bring a lot of experience to the squad,” said Iyer. “Along with international players such as Smith and Tom Curran coming in, we have a few domestic players who have joined the squad as well. Lukman Meriwala has done tremendously well in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. It’s going to be a great experience for the other youngsters, who have come in.”
Iyer, a middle-order batsman, said that Delhi will try not to complicate things.
“We need to keep things simple and focus on our processes, which we have been following in the last two seasons. We need to stick to the same routine and not complicate things. We need to see to it that we stick to the basics and get the best out of ourselves,” he said.
In spite of the IPL 2020 being held in the UAE bio bubble, Iyer said Delhi could still get the sense of fans’ support.
“It was phenomenal to see their support last season and obviously, we love the energy from the fans even though we didn’t get to see them on the field,” he said. “I would love to see them on the field if things open up in the coming IPL. I would just like to tell the fans that keep supporting us, keep loving us and we are just looking forward to getting you the trophy this season and we all could celebrate the victory together.”