Inside Delhi Capitals (DC): The Underdog's Quest to Triumph

Over the past 15 years, the Indian Premier League (IPL) has become one of the most entertaining as well as one of the biggest cricket tournaments in the world. Along with being a premier T20 competition, it also serves the purpose of finding hidden gems among the young cricket players and preparing them to play on the biggest stage. The tournament has given us so many youngsters who have turned into mature players and are now seniors on the Indian Cricket Team. Hardik Pandya from the Mumbai Indians is in contention as the captain of the Indian team after Rohit Sharma. KL Rahul, too, from Royal Challengers Bangalore, burst onto the IPL stage in 2016 and is now an important player in the Indian Team.  The quantity and quality of youngsters that get exposure on the biggest stage because of the IPL are unmatched.

But if there’s one team that has the talent identification and cultivates players to perform at the biggest stage for not only India but any other national team, it is the Delhi Capitals IPL Team, formerly known as the Delhi Daredevils. DC is known for the young squad they have every year and the way they groom them to be great players in the future. Some of the biggest legends in the IPL, AB de Villiers started in Delhi and then moved to the Royal Challengers Bangalore; Andre Russell too started here and then went to the Kolkata Knight Riders; and their priced possession, David Warner, started here, went to play and win a trophy with the Sunrisers Hyderabad, and now is back in Delhi. Though this strategy of building a youngster dependent team or a team with less experienced players hasn’t worked for them in terms of winning the trophy, it can still be considered the OGs of the IPL.

The Delhi Capitals IPL Team gather together waiting for the DRS Decision

Credit: NDTV Sports

In this article by ZAP, let’s dive deep and learn about the Delhi Capitals IPL Team. 

Delhi Daredevils to Delhi Capitals – History and Owners:

The BCCI launched the IPL in 2008, and Delhi being the capital of the country was one of the first franchises to be auctioned off. Delhi was sold to the GMR group for a staggering $84 million (about Rs. 700 crore in today’s value). They named the franchise Delhi Daredevils, a testament to the sense of fearlessness, boldness, and audacity of the country’s capital. In 2018, GMR sold 50% of its stake in DD for ₹550 crore (US$69 million) to Parth Jindal’s JSW Sports Group. The owners of Delhi Capitals are Parth Jindal’s JSW Sports and GMR Group for 50-50 % each stake.

The Delhi Capitals 2008 Team celebrate a wicket

Credit: Sportskeeda

In December 2018, the cricket team changed its name from Delhi Daredevils to Delhi Capitals. Co-owner and chairman Parth Jindal explained that they chose to replace Daredevils with Capitals because Delhi, being the country's capital, is the centre of all power and action. He also said that they wish to create a team culture with the same aim and be the centre of all action in the IPL. It's fair to say that things haven’t worked out very well for them. 

Delhi Capitals IPL Performances over the Years:

The Delhi Daredevils team had a strong start to the inaugural season of the IPL in 2008. They showed promise in the initial stages but then had a slump mid-season. They somehow managed to reach the semi-finals, only to get eliminated by the Rajasthan Royals in the semis.

Delhi, under the leadership of Gautam Gambhir, dominated the league stage in 2009. The team had a solid batting lineup, with players like Sehwag, Gambhir, and AB de Villiers. Even though they finished at the top of the points table, they lost to the Deccan Chargers in the semi-final and missed their chance of playing in the finals.

DD had a poor 2011 season; therefore, in 2012, they revamped their team. They finished first in the league table after bringing in players like Mahela Jayawardene and Kevin Pietersen. However, inconsistency hit them hard, and they still couldn't make it to the IPL finals.

The Delhi Daredevils' 2013 campaign was forgettable, to say the least. They lost six of their initial six matches and were lacklustre throughout the entire season. Even with standout individual performances such as Sehwag's outstanding batting display, the team was unable to finish any better than last place.

DD decided to make a complete squad change prior to the 2014 campaign, releasing every player. But the squad's performance was still dismal, winning just two games in their campaign. JP Duminy had a standout individual season despite an otherwise unimpressive year.

The DD received backlash from supporters in 2015 as a result of their repeated subpar seasons prior. The team's seventh-place finish again in 2015 indicated that the team needed some major changes in their coaching staff, tactics, and lineup.

The Delhi Daredevils had major roster changes in 2016, adding new players like experienced fast bowler Zaheer Khan as the skipper and explosive all-rounder Chris Morris. The squad showed some growth by registering wins in some important games, but it still wasn't enough and could only finish 6th.

The 2017 season saw a blend of experienced players and young talents in Delhi's squad. Despite some notable victories, they again ended up in sixth place. Zaheer Khan's injury led to Karun Nair taking over as the captain for a few matches.

The team changed their name from Delhi Daredevils to Delhi Capitals (from DD to DC) in 2018, but this change in name wasn’t enough for a change in fortune, and they finished last in the points table.

In 2019, DC brought in an experienced player by trading Shikhar Dhawan from Sunrisers Hyderabad and also retained some important players like Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer. Iyer led the squad to a successful campaign that saw them make the playoffs for the first time in seven years. They had a strong run but were unable to make it to the final, coming in as second-place finishers.

The 2021 season saw Rishabh Pant lead the Delhi Capitals to the top of the points table before the tournament's suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They put on a well-rounded show that featured both seasoned professionals and young, talented ones.

After a big blow with the loss of Rishabh Pant, DC’s campaign ended in a grave disappointment once again after they finished in ninth place with problems in both the bowling and batting departments. The poor inconsistent performances and cricket injury-plagued players couldn’t carry the team to the playoffs. 

2020 IPL Final Journey:

The Delhi Capitals 2020 Team celebrates a wicket on their way to th final

Credit: News 18

The 2020 season was the Delhi Capitals Team’s best season in their history. They prepared for this season at the auction table itself by getting important players like Jason Roy, Chris Woakes, Alex Carey, Shimron Hetmyer, Mohit Sharma, Tushar Deshpande, Marcus Stoinis, and Lalit Yadav. The team began the tournament on a strong note, winning seven out of their first nine matches, but the season was suspended midway through after a COVID scare and resumed later in the same year in the UAE. campaigners and exciting young talents. However, later in the season, DC faced a challenging phase with four consecutive losses, creating uncertainty about their playoff qualification. In the last league match vs. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), they came out as the winners and secured the second place in the points table. This meant they would get 2 chances to reach the highest they have ever been: the IPL final. They got beaten by MI in Qualifier 1, but beat SRH in a closely contested match, earning a spot in the IPL final for the first time in their history. In the final, they faced Mumbai Indians, a team they had struggled against throughout the season. Despite putting up a fight, Delhi Capitals couldn't overcome the challenge posed by Mumbai Indians, and they finished as the runners-up in the 2020 IPL season.

It’s a common saying that, You always finish very close to winning the trophy for a certain years, before winning it. MI lost 2 finals before winning it in 2013 for the first time ever. Chennai Super Kings (CSK) lost the final in the inaugural 2008 season, but then won it in 2010 season. Similar could have been the case with DC, but their team management and wrong decisions have cost them big time and looking at the current squad, they don’t look like a strong contender for the trophy in 2024. But straners things have happened earlier, so who knows, next could be their year

The Delhi Capitals’ Home Ground – Arun Jaitley Stadium:

The Delhi Capitals Home Ground - The Arun Jaitley Stadium

Credit: News18

The home ground of the Delhi Capitals is the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi. It is one of the biggest stadium in India with a capacity of 55,000 seated spectators. Though DC have a second home ground too, the Barmer Cricket Stadium Harsa, Naya Raipur, which is even bigger, having a capacity of 65,000, they haven’t played their since 2016. The pitch at the Arun Jaitley stadium in is a batting pitch with a quick outfield. Initially, the fast bowlers will receive some assistance, and as the pitch dries up, spinners too will be effective. The average first innings score hear remains around 165. What’s surprising to know is that Delhi do not have a good home record at the Arun Jaitley Stadium by any means. They have less than a 50% win rate at their home ground which is very a bad home record. Nevertheless, they’ll try to change that in the upcoming season.

Also Read: Narendra Modi Stadium | Wankhede Stadium | Chinnaswamy Stadium

Delhi Capitals’ Team and Legends:

The Capitals have had some of the biggest legends play for their team. Players like Gautam Gambhir, AB de Villiers, David Warner have been a part of the team. Also, Delhi Capitals coaching staff has included some of the biggest legends of cricket, with players like Ricky Ponting, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid serving as the DC Coach. None of these players and coaches haven’t been able to make a huge impact on the fortune of this franchise, but there are two players who’ve given their all for the franchise. 

Rishabh Pant – The Future Delhi Capitals’ Captain:

Rishabh Pant plays a pull shot while batting for the Delhi Capitals in the IPL

Credit: India TV News

Rishabh Pant burst onto the cricket scene after his impressive U19 Word Cup Campaign for India in 2015-16. He was quickly bought by Delhi Capitals and still is a part of the team. He started as a young left handed batter with a flamboyant and aggressive style and is now a mature batsman who’ll continue to captain the side in the future. In only his second season in the IPL in 2017, he played a impressive 97 run innings against Suresh Raina’s Gujarat Lions and the next year registered his maiden century in the IPL smashing the Sunrisers Hyderabad for 128 runs. In total, he has scored 2838 runs, the most runs for the franchise. Even as a captain, he has a decent 55% win rate (30 matches played, Won: 16, Lost: 13, Tied: 1). He missed the 2022 season after a freak accident, but now signs suggest he will be back in the 2023 edition. But due to uncertainty of whether he will be available next season, DC has decided to name David Warner the captain for the upcoming season. 

Virender Sehwag:

Virender Sehwag batting for the Dalhi Daredevils in the IPL

Credit: Bleacher Report

Virender Sehwag was one of Delhi Daredevil’s first legends. He was brought in as captain of the team in the first two seasons but later gave up captaincy to focus more on his batting. During his time with the team, he was one of their best batsmen, scoring the majority of the team’s runs. The fans loved his fearless attitude while batting. He didn't care about fancy footwork, just pure power and timing. He'd charge out, swing hard, and send the ball sailing over the boundary. He even became the first batsman in the league’s history to score 5 consecutive half-centuries. Sure, he had his ups and downs, but his passion and explosive batting made him the team’s heart and soul. He played for the Daredevils until 2013 and in 2014 was picked up by the Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) ending a fantastic relationship between the team and the player. 

Delhi Capitals’ 2024 IPL Squad:

Delhi Capitals IPL 2024 Retained Players List:

Delhi Capitals’ Retained Players: Rishabh Pant, Pravin Dubey, David Warner, Vicky Ostwal, Prithvi Shaw, Anrich Nortje, Abishek Porel, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Lungi Ngidi, Lalit Yadav, Khaleel Ahmed, Mitchell Marsh, Ishant Sharma, Yash Dhull, Mukesh Kumar.

Delhi Capitals IPL 2024 Released Players List:

Rilee Rossouw, Chetan Sakariya, Rovman Powell, Manish Pandey, Phil Salt, Mustafizur Rahman, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Ripal Patel, Sarfaraz Khan, Aman Khan, Priyam Garg.

Delhi Capitals players bought at IPL 2024 auction: 

Harry Brook (Rs. 4 crores), Tristan Stubbs (Rs. 50 lahks), Ricky Bhui (Rs. 20 lahks), Kumar Kushagra (Rs. 7.20 crore), Rasikh Dar (Rs. 20 lakh), Jhye Richardson (Rs. 5 crore), Sumit Kumar (Rs. 1 crore), Shai Hope (Rs. 75 lakh), Swastik Chhikara (Rs. 20 lakh).

Delhi Capitals IPL 2024 Full Squad:

Rishabh Pant (c), Pravin Dubey, David Warner, Vicky Ostwal, Prithvi Shaw, Anrich Nortje, Abishek Porel, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Lungi Ngidi, Lalit Yadav, Khaleel Ahmed, Mitchell Marsh, Ishant Sharma, Yash Dhull, Mukesh Kumar, Harry Brook, Tristan Stubbs, Ricky Bhui, Kumar Kushagra, Rasikh Dar, Jhye Richardson, Sumit Kumar, Shai Hope, Swastik Chhikara.

Delhi Capitals’ Team Identity – Jersey, Logo and Team Anthem:

The Delhi Capitals team’s jersey features a vibrant combination of blue and red, representing the historical and contemporary facets of Delhi. The logo has three tiger heads pouncing on its prey, symbolizing strength, bravery, courage, and determination. The emblem is intricately designed with the iconic Parliament building, paying homage to Delhi's rich past. Complementing this visual identity is the team anthem, "Roar Machaa", a high-energy composition that resonates with the passion and enthusiasm of Delhi's cricket fans.

The Iconic Rivalries:

Delhi Daredevils vs Mumbai Indians:

Northje bowling in the Delhi Capitals vs Mumbai Indians match

Credit: Sportskeeda

One of the biggest debates in the country is the Mumbai vs Delhi debate, the comparison of which city in India is better. The same comparison transcends into the IPL as well, and the Delhi Capitals and Mumbai Indians rivalry is one of the major ones. Mumbai has always had the upper hand in this rivalry, but there have been instances where Delhi has derailed MI’s playoff charge. They have faced each other 33 times, with DC winning 15 and MI winning 18 times.

Delhi Capitals Records over the Years:

Team Records:

Most Matches:

  • Amit Mishra: 99 matches (2008-2021)

Most Matches as Captain:

  • Virender Sehwag: 52 matches. Won: 28, Lost: 24, Tied: 0, NR: 0, Win %: 53.84%

Batting Records:

  1. Most Runs:
    • Rishabh Pant†: 2,838 runs in 98 matches (2016–2022)
  2. Highest Individual Score:
    • Rishabh Pant: 128* against SRH at Arun Jaitley Stadium, Delhi, India on 10 May 2018
  3. Most Half-Centuries:
    • David Warner†: 19 half-centuries in 77 innings (2009–2023)
  4. Most Centuries:
    • David Warner, Shikhar Dhawan: 2 centuries each
  5. Most Sixes:
    • Rishabh Pant†: 129 sixes in 97 innings (2016–2022)
  6. Most Runs in a Season:
    • Rishabh Pant: 684 runs in 14 innings (2018 Indian Premier League)

Bowling Records:

  1. Most Career Wickets:
    • Amit Mishra: 106 wickets in 99 matches (2008–2021)
  2. Best Figures in an Innings:
    • Amit Mishra: 5/17 against DC at Arun Jaitley Stadium, Delhi, India on 15 May 2008
  3. Most Wickets in a Season:
    • Kagiso Rabada: 30 wickets in 17 matches (2020 Indian Premier League)

Wicket-keeping Records:

  1. Most Career Dismissals:
    • Rishabh Pant: 60 dismissals in 76 matches (2016-2021)
  2. Most Career Catches:
    • Rishabh Pant: 47 catches in 76 matches (2016-2021)
  3. Most Career Stumpings:
    • Dinesh Karthik: 15 stumpings in 56 matches (2008-2014)
  4. Most Dismissals in a Season:
    • Rishabh Pant: 24 dismissals in 16 matches (2019 Indian Premier League)

Fielding Records:

  1. Most Career Catches:
    • Virender Sehwag: 29 catches in 79 matches (2008-2013)

Delhi Capitals Women's Team:

The Delhi Capitals women's team celebrate a wicket

Credit: myKhel

The Delhi Capitals Women's Team is one of the five founding teams of the Women's Premier League (WPL). The Capitals formed a strong team for the first season of the WPL and finished top of the points table. Their batting and bowling departments promise fireworks, from Meg Lanning, Shafali Verma, and Jemimah Rodrigues' explosive batting to and Radha Yadav's cunning spin. They eventually lost to Mumbai Indians Women's Team in the final match, but their auction strategy has been top-notch in their quest to win the trophy by adding players like Annabel Sutherland to their already amazing squad.

Read More: Women's Cricket


The Delhi Capitals (DC) IPL team hasn't been the best in terms of the winning the trophy, and their heavy dependence on the youngsters is one of the main reasons. But, now with David Warner appointed as the captain and getting new players like fast bowler Jhye Richardsaon to their squad and the young batting stars Harry Brook and Tristan Stubbs, their squad still remains young, but could fortunes turn this year, we can only wait and watch. Until then, O Dilli re, tu RoarMacha!

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