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Indian Premier League 2021

IPL 2021: Five game-changers to help Delhi go the distance

The players that can lend a massive boost to Delhi Capitals' campaign in IPL 2021.

Rishabh Pant is going through a particularly sweet purple patch in his career and would like to make the most of his form. [Source: New Indian Express]

Rishabh Pant is going through a particularly sweet purple patch in his career and would like to make the most of his form. [Source: New Indian Express]


Anjishnu Roy

Updated: 9 April 2021 11:50 AM GMT

Delhi Capitals have grown phenomenally as a franchise ever since Ricky Ponting arrived at the scene.

They finished last in 2018, reached the playoffs in 2018, qualified for their first IPL final in 2019, and would aim to go all the way in IPL 2021.

In terms of talent and quality on paper, few teams in the Indian Premier League come close to Delhi Capitals.

From a startling batting order to a deceiving spin unit and a sharp bowling attack, Delhi has all the resources to stage a memorable IPL season.

They will begin their campaign with the match against three-time IPL winners Chennai Super Kings in Mumbai on April 10.

Here we'll look at the five players who can end up defining the season for Delhi Capitals and can prove to be their biggest match-winners.

Who are Delhi Capitals' biggest game-changers?

#5 Shimron Hetmyer

Shimron Hetmyer will be searching for his best form in IPL 2021. [Source: Cricinfo]

Shimron Hetmyer has endeared himself to crowds all around the world with his six-hitting ability.

The West Indies batsman packs a lot of power and punch and can win games all on his own. While he did not have the best of tournaments in IPL 2020, it's too early to write him off.

Hetmyer has shown his prowess with the bat in ODI cricket for West Indies. In 45 matches, he has scored 1,430 runs at an average of over 36 and has a strike rate well over 100.

Much will be expected of him in the middle order, especially in Shreyas Iyer's absence.

#4 Marcus Stoinis

Marcus Stoinis was involved in a starring role with both the bat and the ball in UAE. [Source: Cricket Australia]

Marcus Stoinis was a proper all-rounder for Delhi Capitals in IPL 2020.

In 17 matches, he scored 352 runs at an average of over 25 and had a strike rate of over 148. Stoinis also struck 13 wickets with the ball at an average of 21.76, marking his most successful IPL season.

The Aussie has found a proper role for himself in the Delhi Capitals setup where his skills are trusted.

The all-rounder is arriving into the IPL after a spectacular Big Bash League season.

He scored 396 runs in 13 innings and had an average of 33. He also had a fantastic strike rate of 142.45.

He also picked up two wickets in the three innings where he bowled.

#3 Prithvi Shaw

IPL 2021 could end up being the season where the talent of Prithvi Shaw finally finds itself a footing in the big leagues. [Source: Scroll]

Prithvi Shaw had a dismal IPL 2020 in UAE.

The young opening batsman struggled to get going and could only make 228 runs at a pitiful average of below 18.

He ended up making just two half-centuries in 13 matches, and such was his inconsistency, Delhi Capitals decided to drop him from the starting XI towards the latter stages of the competition.

Prithvi Shaw also endured a tough time during the tour of Australia where Pat Cummins ate him for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

However, taking some time off and making a comeback in spectacular style, Prithvi was in the headlines again, this time for the right reasons.

He finished as the highest scorer with 827 runs and led Mumbai to the Vijay Hazare Trophy.

He also remained unbeaten on 227 runs against Puducherry, the third-highest individual List A score by an Indian.

DC head coach Ricky Ponting has likened him to Tendulkar because of his diminutive style and stroke-playing while national coach Ravi Shastri sees legends Brian Lara and Virender Sehwag in him.

It's up to Prithvi Shaw now to live up to the billing.

#2 Kagiso Rabada

Following his wizardry with the ball, Kagiso Rabada won the Purple Cap in IPL 2020. [Source: Times of India]

Kagiso Rabada finished with the Purple Cap in the last season of IPL held in UAE.

The Proteas pace sensation was on song during IPL 2020 and became Delhi Capitals' best asset with the ball, often winning games by his own individual merit.

Rabada picked up 30 wickets last season, following up on his 25-wicket season in IPL 2019.

He also struck two four-fers in the UAE and had a respectable economy rate of 8.34.

There's no doubt that Rabada would want to pick things up from right where he left off when he's allowed to play after serving his mandatory seven-day quarantine period.

#1 Rishabh Pant

IPL 2021 could end up becoming yet another milestone in Rishabh Pant's journey towards becoming a superstar. [Source: The Financial Express]

Rishabh Pant is in the form of his life and the entire world of cricket has been a witness to his genius.

After an unremarkable IPL campaign last season where he scored 343 runs and because of poor and erratic performances with the national side, he was dropped from the squad to tour Australia.

Making his way into the team in the third Test in Sydney because of injuries, Rishabh seized opportunities in the only way he knows how – by playing his natural game more confidently.

He then engineered two impossible Test cricket feats and the Gabba victory, in particular, will live long in the memory of every Indian fan.

He carried the same form into the series against England, scoring a hundred in the Test series and leaving a major impact during the ODI series.

Rishabh Pant has been handed the captaincy of Delhi Capitals in the absence of the injured Shreyas Iyer this season.

DC head coach Ricky Ponting assured that responsibility will bring the best out of Pant and if Pant has higher levels to scale, it'll be a privilege for all of us bar the bowlers he's up against.

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