Dubai: Delhi Capitals’ skipper Shreyas Iyer is banking on the depth of experience in his side as they prepare to face the Kings XI Punjab in their opening match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Sunday.
Boasting of a formidable top order led by the skipper alongside the fiery Shikhar Dhawan, young gun Rishabh Pant and Prithvi Shaw, the Delhi Capitals also have the services of a sturdy middle order that could include the likes of Ajinkya Rahane, Shimron Hetmyer, Alex Carey and Marcus Stoinis, among others.
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Despite having some world-class cricketers over the years, the Delhi outfit are the only team in the tournament who haven’t made it to the final as yet. The franchise’s decision to change the name of the team last season to Delhi Capitals possibly brought in some luck as the team entered the knockout stages before losing to the Chennai Super Kings in the second qualifier.
Now with the likes of Ashwin and Rahane within the squad, Iyer reckons things will be a bit different. “They bring in a lot of experience and strength. The last few practice sessions have been a great indicator of this as the younger players have fed off their experience and confidence,” Iyer noted.
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“These seniors are very much part of the team and they’ve done well to blend in. For sure, they are here to help the squad, especially the juniors,” he added.
Iyer was willing to fall back on the lessons he has learnt with the Delhi Capitals — the only team to have never appeared in an IPL final. However, their best came during 2019 when they made it to the play-offs for the first time in seven years.
“We were great competitors and we were doing everything right all the time. We never gave a reason that we were getting tired as every individual took responsibility in their own way, and that is how we ended in third last season,” Iyer reflected.
“We were like a family last season. We stuck together in the good times and the bad. And that is one thing we will continue doing this season as well,” he promised.
Asked if they had put any special celebrations in place during and after matches at this edition of the IPL, Iyer said: “We haven’t decided anything in particular about that. The last time when we came together to play, we gave each other fist bumps. Maybe we will know later today if we are going to do anything different and special.”