A new name and, hopefully, a new less dreadful IPL team. They’ve never reached a final and have finished last four times – including in 2018. That’ll be the Delhi Capitals, then.
Coach: Ricky Ponting
Captain: Shreyas Iyer
Previous Best: Semi-finals (2008, 2009), 3rd (2012)
Why They’ll Win It:
New name, new team. And it really is. Privthi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant is an absolute sex of a potential top four, one that no other franchise comes close to matching for homegrown talent. With another India international in the batting ranks in Hanuma Vihari they may not even always pick their overseas T20 gun batsmen Colin Munro and Colin Ingram in order to be more flexible with the bowling attack where Trent Boult and Kagiso Rabada are eye-catching names.
You want wrist-spinners? Delhi’s got wrist-spinners. Amit Mishra has been around the block and seen it all, while Nepal phenom Sandeep Lamichhane is one of the best around.
Ishant Sharma adds vital homegrown experience and quality to the attack. This squad really ought to be there or thereabouts if Ricky Ponting can hit on the right formula.
Why They Won’t:
Name change or no name change, the Capitals boast the worst IPL record of any franchise bar none. They are the only team to contest all 11 IPLs without reaching a final and hold a proud and surely never-to-be-broken record as the only franchise to finish 10th in an IPL season. They’ve finished dead last four times and haven’t threatened the playoffs in the last six seasons. It’s a lot of history to overcome.
How they deploy their overseas players will be key, because their Indian batting is far better stocked than their Indian bowling. If they get the balance wrong it could yet be same old Delhi. Their first two games being against the IPL’s two most successful teams, Chennai and Mumbai before then facing the Knight Riders ratchets up the pressure to get it right from the start.
Star Man – Rishabh Pant:
Insanely gifted keeper-batsman who should be set for a big tournament this year. In truth, Delhi’s star man is really their collective Indian batting core of Dhawan, Shaw, Iyer and Pant. For a franchise that has relied so heavily and unsuccessfully on overseas batsmen it is a real sea change and means that leaving out Munro or Ingram to accommodate another overseas bowler can be done without worry.
Not dropping any! 😎
— Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) March 20, 2019
Full squad: Colin Munro (NZ), Prithvi Shaw, Manjot Kalra, Shikhar Dhawan, Hanuma Vihari, Colin Ingram (SA), Shreyas Iyer (capt), Ankush Bains (wk), Rishabh Pant (wk), Chris Morris (SA), Jalaj Saxena, Axar Patel, Sherfane Rutherford (WI), Bandaru Ayyappa, Amit Mishra, Rahul Tewatia, Sandeep Lamichhane (Nep), Harshal Patel, Kagiso Rabada (SA), Avesh Khan, Trent Boult (NZ), Ishant Sharma, Keemo Paul (WI), Nathu Singh.
Sunday March 24
2000 IST/1430 GMT: Mumbai Indians, Wankhede Stadium Mumbai
Tuesday March 26
2000 IST/1430 GMT: Chennai Super Kings, Feroz Shah Kotla Delhi
Saturday March 30
2000 IST/1430 GMT: Kolkata Knight Riders, Feroz Shah Kotla Delhi
Monday April 1
2000 IST/1530 BST: Kings XI Punjab, IS Bindra Stadium Mohali
Thursday April 4
2000 IST/1530 BST: Sunrisers Hyderabad, Feroz Shah Kotla Delhi
Sunday April 7
1600 IST/1130 BST: Royal Challengers Bangalore, M Chinnaswamy Stadium Bangalore
Friday April 12
2000 IST/1530 GMT: Kolkata Knight Riders, Eden Gardens Kolkata
Sunday April 14
2000 IST/1530 BST: Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium Hyderabad
Thursday April 18
2000 IST/1530 BST: Mumbai Indians, Feroz Shah Kotla Delhi
Saturday April 20
2000 IST/1530 BST: Kings XI Punjab, Feroz Shah Kotla Delhi
Monday April 22
2000 IST/1530 BST: Rajasthan Royals, Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur
Sunday April 28
1600 IST/1130 BST: Royal Challengers Bangalore, Feroz Shah Kotla Delhi
Wednesday May 1
2000 IST/1530 BST: Chennai Super Kings, MA Chidambaram Stadium Chennai
Saturday May 4
1600 IST/1130 BST: Rajasthan Royals, Feroz Shah Kotla Delhi
Babar hit 11 boundaries of the highest order in an unbeaten stay of exactly 100 balls.
Mark Wood finished the job.
Pakistan made a solid start after deciding to bat first.
Pakistan elected to bat under grey skies at Old Trafford.
The England and Yorkshire fast bowler saw his career cut slightly short by injury problems.
Nagging uncertainty over Stokes’ recent quad injury means England will not know how to balance their side until the eleventh hour.
Paul Stirling and Andrew Balbirnie both hit centuries in the shock victory.