Being the capital city of India, it was expected that Delhi would be one of the most successful teams in the Indian T20 League. They have failed to live up to that billing and right now are under immense pressure to step up with the goods. Delhi was one of the eight founding teams of the Indian T20 League. They are owned jointly by the GMR and JSW groups in India. The Delhi-based franchise as of 2020 is being led by youngster Shreyas Iyer who is making a name for himself in the international arena as well. They have one of the best mentors in the form of Ricky Ponting and with his winning mentality, Delhi would be looking to claim their maiden Indian T20 League title.
In the inaugural season of the Indian T20 League, Delhi started well as they reached the knockout stages of the tournament. Led by the flamboyant and rampant Indian batsman Virender Sehwag, the team embodied his personality on the field as they played without any fear. With star players like AB de Villiers, Gautam Gambhir, Tilakaratne Dilshan and Glenn McGrath in their ranks, they were looking destined to win the title in the inaugural season. However, in the semi-final against Rajasthan, Delhi collapsed dramatically and got knocked out of the tournament. In the 2009 edition, Delhi was captained by Indian southpaw Gautam Gambhir. They performed brilliantly to top the table that year. However, they failed to perform in the semifinals yet again and bowed out.
After good performances in the first two editions of the Indian T20 League, the performances from Delhi dropped dramatically. In 2010 and 2011, they were knocked out in the group stage itself. In 2011, Delhi finished last in the group stages and morale was at an all-time low. To boost their chances of returning to the top, Delhi bought players like Kevin Pietersen, Mahela Jayawardene and Ross Taylor. The Delhi-based outfit made a solid comeback as they again topped the group stages in 2012. This time around though, Delhi lost both their 1st and 2nd qualifying matches, against Kolkata and Chennai respectively, and again they were knocked out just before reaching the summit of the showpiece event.
What followed after 2012 was a horror show for Delhi. From 2013 to 2018, Delhi were knocked out in the group stages itself. It was a period of sorrow for the Delhi fans as they saw their team become the whipping boys of the Indian T20 League. Just when teams like Kolkata and Mumbai were starting to take shape, it was Delhi who had started to deteriorate. In 2013 and 2014, Delhi finished last on the points table. In 2015, the scene was not pretty as well with Delhi finishing just one spot above the last team on the points table. In 2016 and 2017, Delhi finished their group stage campaign on the 6th spot and in 2018, they again plummeted to the foot of the table. The fans turned their back on the team and voiced their discontent with the performances.
After years of turmoil, Delhi revamped their squad in search of some consistency ahead of the 2019 edition of the Indian T20 League. Delhi traded their former player and India opener Shikhar Dhawan from Hyderabad. They retained a core of Indian players with the likes of skipper Shreyas Iyer, wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant and young Indian prodigy Prithvi Shaw among some of the famous names. The roster of international players included the likes of Trent Boult, Colin Munro, Kagiso Rabada and young Nepalese spinner Sandeep Lamichhane. Delhi also appointed Sourav Ganguly as their advisor and this completed the revamp of the squad. With a new-look team in 2019, Delhi charged into the top 4 spots of the Indian T20 League. This time around, they won their 1st qualifier against Hyderabad. However, they again fell just one step behind in reaching their first finals as Chennai defeated them.
In the 2020 auctions, Delhi made some smart buys with players like added Jason Roy, Chris Woakes, Shimron Hetmyer and Marcus Stoinis added to the roster. The Capital achieved exceptional success in that edition and qualified for the final for the first time after 12 years of the start of this League but got defeated in the ultimate battle.
In the subsequent season, Delhi continued with their resurgence and topped the table in the league stage, however, they lost both the games in the playoffs and their dream of winning the maiden trophy remained unfulfilled.
- Abishek PorelWicket-Keeper
- Aman Hakim KhanAll-Rounder