Several experts have backed the Delhi Capitals to lift their inaugural IPL trophy this year, and Shikhar Dhawan hopes for the same. It is only a mere couple of days before the 13th edition of IPL gets underway in the UAE, and the predictions have overflowed from the cricketing pundits and analysts. Shikhar Dhawan appreciated the depth of Delhi Capitals’ squad, backing them to reach the summit this year.
Delhi Capitals reached the playoffs for the first time last year since 2012 under the leadership of Shreyas Iyer. Until then, the team kept languishing at the bottom of the table; however, they put on a better show under a young skipper. Their pillars of a satisfying campaign were the likes of Iyer, Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Rishabh Pant, Kagiso Rabada, Ishant Sharma, and more.
According to Shikhar Dhawan, it would be mentally challenging to play cricket after a seven-month break while courage and skills are equally essential for a team to do well. The southpaw added that there could be a new side laying their hands on the IPL trophy and backed Delhi Capitals to be that.
“More than skill-based, it’s going to be mentally challenging, coming after five months and playing in such a big tournament. It will take a lot of courage, skill and everything for a team to start doing well. Can there be a new winner? Why not? Someone was saying how every leap year there is a new winner. Hopefully, we will see Delhi Capitals lifting the trophy,” Dhawan told Hindustan Times.
“Playing only on three venues, we will get turning pitches as well” : Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan underlined that his potential opening partner Prithvi Shaw is in an excellent nick while they have Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant growing well. The veteran reminded the incomings of Ajinkya Rahane and Ravichandran Ashwin, claiming they have a complete side and the pitches should favour batting in the initial phase of the competition.
“Prithvi (Shaw) is in good touch, he is a class player. And Rishabh, Shreyas and Prithvi all are maturing as well. And we have Ajinkya Rahane, Ashwin coming in… I feel we’ve got a very complete side. Especially at the start, the pitches are going to be nice, I am assuming,” the opening batsman mentioned.
Dhawan reckons that since the fixtures will take place only in three venues, they will get spinning wickets. He backs the likes of Alex Carey, Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul, and Lalit Yadav to perform well in the tournament. Delhi Capitals open their campaign against Kings XI Punjab on the 20th of September in Dubai.
“Playing only on three venues, we will get turning pitches as well. We got enough batsmen who play the turning ball well. We have Marcus Stoinis and Alex Carey, Shimron Hetmyer and Keemo Paul as well, and Lalit Yadav is a good bat and bowls off-spin,” he added further.