A series of articles where fans from each team were asked a set of questions ahead of the start of the season. The team in focus here is Delhi Capitals, and Balaji presents his point of view about his favorite team.

  • Delhi Capitals; what is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear about them?

It goes back to 2018 when Gauti was appointed as their captain. I started supporting them because of that and Gauti is the first person who comes to my mind when I hear DC and my respect shoots up when he stepped down in the middle of the season when things didn’t go well. So, that’s the first thing that comes to my mind and Rockstar Pant for obvious reasons.

  • The side with the most bottom place finishes, Delhi showed drastic improvement last season. What exactly led to such a huge transformation; from 8th in 2018 to 3rd in 2019?

Sourav Ganguly and Ricky Ponting. As simple as that. I have always believed that think tank is a crucial part in a big pressure tournament like this. Their value enlargers considering the average age of Delhi Capitals. The way they managed with their resources was fantastic and obviously Shreyas showed how matured he is on the field. So these two are the main reasons in my opinion.

  • How do you rate the DC squad this season?

DC squad is certainly not the best or not even in the top 4 for me on paper. As a fan, obviously I would want them to lift the trophy but its kind of a basic thing to speak facts instead of blindly supporting. They left lots of aspects unaddressed in this year’s auction which as a fan, I was disappointed terribly. For all the praise Ricky deserved in the previous question, I would put all the blame on him for this lackluster auction. No proper death bowler as a partner for Rabada, no reasonable lower middle order. Too many unnecessary buys but yeah, luckily they got Nortje and Sams but I don’t know to what extent they will create an impact. Overall, this squad is an average one.

  • The transfers during the trade window by Delhi Capitals made a lot of buzz. What do you make of the transfers?

That was a blessing in disguise. As a fan, I might want even another 2 players from the current squad to drop off and want 2 new guys to replace them and you know who I am talking about (Stoinis and Carey). Nortje and Sams at best make average picks to compensate worst possible picks so that’s a win situation but still they don’t inspire much confidence to me.

  • Delhi finally seem to have a squad that is suited to their home track. And UAE pitches won’t be very different from their home pitch. Do you think they start as one of the favorites?

No. Conditions is fine but do they have the all round squad to win the tournament? I doubt it. Definitely not favorites for me. 

  • A lot of talk going on about DC’s batting order. What is your preferred top 7?

They have the worst possible lower middle order and that is the one that defines the fate of a team in the longer run Imo. My top 7 will be Dhawan Shaw Hetmyer Shreyas Pant Harshal Axar

  • Rishabh Pant, the best batsman in IPL since 2018, what are your expectations from him? Can he do it for the third successive season?

Yes. With all the potential in the world and probably the best #4 batsmen in world cricket in T20s at the moment, I expect nothing less than a 500 run season (bare minimum) but yeah, too much expectations kills, so keeping my fingers crossed.

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  • Most people are rating Delhi’s spin attack as the best in the tournament. Your thoughts on it?

The best. There is no second thoughts to it. Definitely second best if not the best. Ashwin, there is a huge add on, although Mishra ji is a finished product, him in UAE can still be handy. Axar has become a batting AR now but he is after all an experienced campaigner, so ya. Offie, leggie, slow left arm; they have the variety and rich resources to go with the variety. Easily in the top 2 as far as spin department is concerned.

  • What has been your most favourite DC moment/moments over the years? 

Rishabh Pant’s assault against Bhuvi in 2018 is a no brainer for me. The best moment. And as a team, them beating SRH last year in eliminator but I didn’t enjoy that win as MS Dhoni was waiting to smash them in Qualifier 2 which exactly happened but that young bunch qualifying was very pleasing and heartening. They will get only better with time I believe.

  • Who has been the most valuable player for DC according to you till date? And who will be their most valuable guy this season?

One answer for both those questions. Rishabh Pant.

  • Where do you see DC finishing this season? Can they reach the finals for the first time and go for the glory?

As a fan, yes, I would want them to qualify for finals and want to see Pant lifting the trophy but if I have to speak like a sane person, then , I don’t see DC qualifying for the playoffs (saying this with a heavy heart).