Andre Nortje of Delhi Capitals had a forgettable first outing on Thursday as they went down to Lucknow Super Giants. Image Credit: Supplied photo

Delhi Capitals, who had started as one of the favourites for the 15th edition of the tournament, has so far not played the brand of cricket befitting a champion team. They have lost their last two games and have just one win out of their three games and seem yet to get into their groove so far.

They started this year’s edition with a win against arch rivals Mumbai Indians, but that win too came from behind after Lalit Yadav and Axar Patel rescued them from a losing position. In the second game, they were cruising towards a win against Gujarat Titans when they required 54 of the last five overs with six wickets in hand. That’s when they lost their captain Rishabh Pant, who was looking good and Lockie Ferguson of Titans broke their back to upset the Capitals.


In their last game too against Lucknow Super Giants, Delhi were off to a rollicking start - thanks to Prithvi Shaw who went berserk from the first over and the score read 63 in seven overs when Shaw got out. After his dismissal, the team just could not get going with the likes of David Warner, Romvell Powell and captain Pant all struggling to get their timing right and managed just 149 in their 20 overs despite losing just three wickets.

The total was below par and their bowlers found it difficult to defend the score with dew taking its toll and the ball slipping out twice from Anrich Nortje’s hand - who bowled two beamers and had to be removed from the bowling attack. Nortje thus had a forgettable return from injury, going for 32 runs in two overs. Moreover, Pant missed a trick and did not bowl Axar Patel’s two overs who looked their best bowler. In the end, Lucknow may have won with four balls to spare but had control of the chase.

On paper, Delhi had put up their strongest side with Warner and Nortje, Romvell Powell, Mustafizur Rehman - all good foreign players but so far the team has not clicked as a unit. Powell has struggled against the spinners and has not yet got going whereas their bowling too looks flat so far.

This is the 15th edition and Delhi have made it just once to the finals - in 2020 in UAE - which they lost to Mumbai Indians. A lot was expected from them after the auction as the Capitals looked well balanced. They need to get their act together soon in a tournament which has 10 teams and with Delhi currently on seventh position, have their work cut out.

They need to win a minimum of seven games out of their remaining 10 games to make it to the play offs. Will they get their act together? Only time will tell.

- Cricket enthusiast Anis Sajan is a Vice Chairman of Danube Group