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IPL 2023: Lack of performance as a group make unplanned Delhi Capitals struggle

IPL 2023: Lack of performance as a group make unplanned Delhi Capitals struggle. Delhi Capitals sit at the bottom of the points table with 1 win from 6 games.

IPL 2023_ David Warner averages 52.66, but his strike rate of 117.04 is a big worry for Delhi Capitals.    _ Walking wicket (Images_ ©IPL_Twitter)
Warner is the sole silver lining in DC batting unit (Images: ©IPL/Twitter)

The way Delhi Capitals (DC) struggled on a slow turning track at their home ground Arun Jaitley Stadium to chase a low total of 128, winning it on the second ball of the last over of the game against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to open their account after five back-to-back defeats in the sixteenth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023, it displayed how awful a season they are going through.


When most teams in the season have begun to jump higher in the points table, Delhi Capitals are still sitting at the bottom of the points table with five loses in six games at a net run rate (NRR) of -1.183.


Under-performing star players behind Delhi’s early wrestle

Looking at the squad of Delhi Capitals for the 2023 IPL under a new captain David Warner due to the absence of Delhi’s regular captain Rishabh Pant because of his freakish injury, the team looked arranged with some colourful players. But the vital prospect for them was to expect top performances from their star players who have all the experience of doing it at the highest level.


The way they started their campaign against Lucknow Super Giants (LSG), they looked in decent shape until the spine-chilling spell from Mark Wood blew them away for a 50-run loss. Their first home fixture after a wait of three long years also saw them losing to Gujarat Titans (GT) by six wickets which was again followed by their third consecutive loss to Rajasthan Royals (RR).


They gave a close fight to Mumbai Indians (MI) but they didn’t come up on the right side of the result as suddenly a chaotic environment began to grow among the set-up. Their loss against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) where they failed to even get to 175 at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore hurt them the most. Even though they finally earned those vital two points against the Knight Riders, the season is still not going in the right direction for them.



Let’s take a look at the areas which are making DC weak in IPL 2023

IPL 2023: Prithvi Shaw is having very poor IPL 2023 with the bat_ Walking wicket (Images_ ©IPL_Twitter)
Prithvi Shaw averages 7.83 in IPL 2023 from 6 games (Images: ©IPL/Twitter)
Failure of Delhi batters as a unit destroying them

A look at the batting line-up of Delhi Capitals (DC) where they have firepower at the top and Lalit Yadav, who has an average of 29.96 at a strike rate of 136.22 in 71 T20s coming at number nine, will tell the exceptional batting depth of the team but they haven’t used it well enough.


Their batting failures as a unit have been really consistent in this season. At that small ground in M Chinnaswamy Stadium, they could score only 38 against RCB in the first six overs while in other games where they have gone past the run rate of 7 in the powerplay; the number of wickets in that phase have been more than one. In their six games till now this season, they have a run rate of 7.80 in the powerplay losing 13 wickets which is just better than Sunrisers Hyderabad’s 7.19 powerplay run rate.


Except David Warner and Axar Patel, who is coming lower down the order, none of the other Delhi batters have spent ample amount of time in the middle. Given how the middle order has struggled in this season, Warner too hasn’t looked to be in his normal beast mode. As a result, when most of the teams are scoring 180-200 totals constantly, Delhi has a highest total of 172 against Mumbai Indians till now.



Let’s take a look at the performance of the Delhi batters from Number 2-6 position

Player

Mat

Runs

HS

Avg

S/R

50/100

Prithvi Shaw

06

47

15

7.83

117.50

0/0

Mitchell Marsh

04

06

04

1.50

33.33

0/0

Manish Pandey

04

97

50

24.25

121.25

1/0

Lalit Yadav

04

48

38

16.00

114.29

0/0

Rovman Powell

03

07

04

2.33

77.78

0/0

Ill usage of ‘Impact Player’ rule

The newly introduced ‘Impact Player’ rule has helped most of the IPL teams a lot in this tournament where they have used the depth of batting while setting a target or chasing the target besides using an extra bowler while defending a total. But Delhi Capitals even in that phase have lacked some new dynamics of the game.


Except their first couple of games, in all the other games they have used Prithvi Shaw in the opening position as the impact player substitute and Shaw has failed to make the slightest impact in this season scoring just 47 runs in six innings. He has been vulnerable against both the pacers and spinners.


There was a great opportunity for Delhi to use some other options at the opening position. Mitchell Marsh was coming to the IPL on the back of a terrific ODI series against India where he nailed 194 runs in three games at an average of 97 and strike rate of 131.08 including two half centuries after being forced to open the batting. There was no reason the Capitals team management couldn’t ask Marsh to open the batting with his countryman David Warner or they could have used Sarfaraz Khan in the opening position.


This is actually ridiculous to see how even after six consecutive failures they are still persisting with Shaw just because of his skill that he has displayed in the past. A little change in the tactic could help them in different ways.



A slow David Warner not playing his natural game

The wait of enjoying the class of the real David Warner continues. It was really fun to watch the pocket dynamite in all the old seasons where he used to come and even before the opponent would realise, Warner would have celebrated his fifty in no time. The days have changed and coming back to his maiden IPL team, Warner is struggling to score aggressively in the powerplay.


Even though he is currently the second highest run-scorer of the tournament with 285 runs in six games at an average of 47.50 and strike rate of 120.76 with four fifties, this is not what the Capitals expected in terms of the speed of his knocks. Warner had a strike rate of less than 120 in all of his first four knocks. Against Kolkata, he cracked a 41-ball 57 at a strike rate of 139.02 which was his fastest knock of this season.


Among those seasons where Warner played at least 10 games, his surprising 120.76 strike rate after six games in IPL 2023 is actually the lowest for him since 2011. The left-hander who has faced more than 200 deliveries this season, is yet to hit a six so far. From 2015 to 2019 while leaving out 2018, Warner had smashed 99 sixes.


Given the way the middle order of the Delhi Capitals has struggled, Warner has tried to stay there long and that was where the fear of getting dismissed has sometimes slowed him down terribly. There is a sense that he seems to be wanting it a bit too much and it keeps backfiring.



Kuldeep’s inconsistency with injury setbacks has been a concern

The inconsistency of Kuldeep Yadav seems to be another reason for the failure of Delhi Capitals. Last season, he took 21 wickets in 14 games at an economy of 8.44 but this year in six games, he has just six scalps in six games at an economy of 7.25. Although he isn’t giving much runs in the middle overs, the lack of wickets meant that the inexperienced fast bowlers were going for runs regularly.


Mukesh Kumar has played most games for DC as a pacer along with Anrich Nortje and both haven’t performed well at all. The former has picked five wickets in five games at an economy of 9.77 while Nortje has four wickets in five games at an economy of 8.45. Axar Patel with the ball has been really cold in this season with just four wickets in six games and besides that they are struggling with the injury of Khaleel Ahmed.


The way every team is taking higher strides in the season day by the day framing the points table scenario in a close shape, the chances of Delhi for the playoffs look really uncertain.


Delhi Capitals will play their next game against Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 24 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.


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