DC’s IPL 2021 – A Look Back at a Season to Remember

A few days since the closure, it all comes into perspective how special and unprecedented this IPL season was. Split over two phases, hosted in two different countries, the season opener and the final over 6 months apart on the calendar year - IPL 2021 was a campaign like no other.

 

For us though, it wasn’t quite the result we wanted, as our DC boys fell agonisingly short of a second final appearance in a row. Despite that, there were several positives to take from IPL 2021, and learnings that will only help our DC stars get better as we look forward to IPL 2022.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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But before that, let’s look back at some of the standout performers from this season, along with a few games that were the highlight of DC’s impressive campaign. Since IPL 2021 was split into two halves, it is only apt that our season report follows the same template too!

 

 

Delhi Capitals Rise to The Top in India Leg of IPL 2021

 

Our season began with some unfortunate news, as it was confirmed that Shreyas Iyer would miss the season due to a shoulder injury. Rishabh Pant became Captain Pantastic as he was appointed the job at the helm in Iyer’s absence, and his first task was to get one over his idol and mentor, MS Dhoni.

 

With excitement amongst DC fans and neutrals at an all-time high, our DC Men in Blue made light work of their first game, trouncing the Men in Yellow by 7 wickets to start the season in style. In hindsight, that opening game, with Gabbar and Shaw notching up a 138-run partnership and Avesh Khan taking the all-important scalps of Faf and MS Dhoni, offered a sign of things to come for all things DC in IPL 2021.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

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The first half of the season included several memorable moments, from Axar Patel coming out of quarantine and becoming the first spinner to successfully bowl a Super Over and guide his side to victory against SRH, to Prithvi Shaw carting Shivam Mavi to all corners of the park to become just the 2nd IPL player to smack 6 fours in an over. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Delhi Capitals (@delhicapitals)

 

 

The DC stars were in full flow during the India leg of IPL 2021, as we won 6 out of our first 8 games to rise to the top of the table with the second-best Net Run Rate (NRR) in the league. Even in the two defeats, against RR (by 3 wickets) and RCB (by 1 run), we were in the game till the last over as the teams fought tooth and nail for the 2 points. 

 

All was going well for us earlier in the year, but just then the COVID-19 pandemic reared its ugly head again, and several players, including our Mishi bhai, tested positive for the virus. IPL 2021 was indefinitely postponed on May 4, and all of us anxiously waited for the next chapter in what was proving to be a campaign to remember. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Delhi Capitals (@delhicapitals)

 

 

Tough Luck in UAE, But A Campaign to Be Proud Of

 

After an anxious wait of 143 days, Rishabh Pant and Co. took to the field once again, this time in Dubai. And we started the second half of the season just like the first one, with a thumping win over SRH by 8 wickets.

 

The COVID-19 enforced break also gave Shreyas Iyer enough time to return to full fitness, and he announced his arrival in style. Chasing 135, the Magician crafted an unbeaten 47*, finishing the game with a sublime six to prove once again that class is permanent. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Delhi Capitals (@delhicapitals)

 

 

That innings was a sign of things to come from Iyer, who, despite playing less than half a season, notched up 175 runs at an average of 35. On UAE pitches that were slow and low for most of the campaign, Shreyas’ timely knocks meant our middle-order was once again a force to be reckoned with. 

 

 

Just like the first half, the second half of the season had highs that left fans brimming with joy. Back-to-back wins in low-scoring thrillers against MI and CSK meant we became the first side to do the double over the two sides in the same season, as our bowlers once again dominated the proceedings.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

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We finished the league stage at top of the table with the second-best NRR. But unfortunately, we had to bow out of the competition after two-tense final-over finishes against CSK and KKR in the Playoffs.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Delhi Capitals (@delhicapitals)

 

 

It was a special run in IPL 2021 despite the way it ended, so it only does the team justice if we go down (recent) memory lane and delve into a detailed round up the best performers and matches from an enthralling season to say the least.

 

Top DC Performers of IPL 2021

 

The Gabbar-Shaw Show

 

In a campaign where several opening duos caught the eye, Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw came out with a swashbuckling, action-packed season of the Gabbar-Shaw Show. ‘Bade Miyan and Chhote Miyan’ complemented each other brilliantly, with Shaw usually going hard up top while Shikhar played the anchor role to perfection as they amassed a a combined 1066 runs in IPL 2021.

 

It was a season of redemption for Prithvi, who came back from a tough IPL 2020 to remind everyone of why he is one of the most exciting openers in Indian cricket. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A 479-run season saw him finish as the second-highest run-getter for DC, while his strike rate of 159.13 was the best in the IPL for batters who faced over 150 balls. The six fours in an over against KKR will be remembered for a long time, but one other Shaw memory that will always stay with us is this conversation with Ricky in the post-match speech after a top knock in our season opener against CSK.

 

 

Gabbar was in a class of his own, as he enjoyed a milestone filled campaign. Smashing his 200th T20 six, becoming just the 4th DC batsman to score 2000+ runs for the franchise and scoring more than 400 runs for the 6th consecutive season, he was at his absolute best. We would have carried on with Gabbar praise, as much for his consistency as his attractive shot-making, but once again Ricky summed it up perfectly in one of his post-match speeches as he praised the batsman for his elite footwork. 

 

“Shikhar, love it when you start using your feet again. When you start going towards those fast bowlers and hitting them back the ground mate. They can’t bowl at you.”

You’ve got an image of Dhawan running down the track and taking a fast bowler over his head right now too, don’t you?

 

The Rise of The Indore Express

 

Avesh Khan came into the season having played just 2 IPL games over the past two seasons. However, the young speedster was thrust into the limelight in the first game, as several of our pacers were either out injured or unavailable.

 

He grabbed the opportunity with both hands and has never looked back since. Dismissing Faf du Plessis and MS Dhoni for ducks would be the highlight for many a bowler in an IPL campaign, but it is a testament to Avesh’s form and resolve that it was just one of the highs from a season where he went from being the "unsung hero" to the "sung hero."

 

 
 
 
 
 
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What stands out for Avesh from this season is his incredible consistency. He went wicketless in just 2 games all season and broke the record for the most wickets by an Indian bowler for DC in a single season with 24.

 

Effective in all phases of the game, IPL 2021 was the season The Indore Express arrived in style, and there’s no doubt that Khan Saab will soar to greater heights in the coming years.

 

Protea Fire Speeding for Fun in UAE

 

Turning pitches in India meant Anrich Nortje didn’t get a chance to bowl in the first half of IPL 2021. But come the UAE leg of the competition, Nortje was at it again from the start, ruffling a few feathers as he consistently clocked 145+ kmph for fun.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Delhi Capitals (@delhicapitals)

 

Straight into the line-up against SRH in UAE, Anrich Nortje bowled the then 8 fastest balls of IPL 2021 in his first appearance of the season. His searing pace up top troubled many a batter, as he consistently picked up wickets in the powerplay. His 6 wickets during the phase were the joint third highest in IPL 2021, an achievement that becomes even more impressive when you consider he played just 8 games this season. 

 

Anrich Nortje ended the campaign with 12 wickets, as his heroics in the powerplay and at the death ensured there was never a dull moment when the fiery South African had the ball in hand. 

  

Bapu Shows His Mettle

 

Axar Patel came into IPL 2021 with his stock at an all-time high, following his headline-grabbing performances in the Test series against England. However, the all-rounder tested positive for COVID-19 and had to miss the first few games as a result. But boy, did he announce his arrival in style when he came back!

 

Thrust straight into the line-up mere days after coming out of quarantine, Axar Patel had the ball on a string and landed it perfectly in a game-changing spell against SRH. He then showed immense courage, holding his hand up to bowl a superb Super Over against SRH where he conceded just 7 runs and become the first spinner to win his side a Super Over contest in IPL history. Once again, a Ricky Ponting quote summed up our feelings perfectly, “Just like riding a bike, isn’t it?”

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Delhi Capitals (@delhicapitals)

 

Bapu went from strength to strength and truly came into his own in the UAE leg of IPL 2021. With pitches assisting the slower bowlers, Axar Patel was called upon to stifle the opposition and keep batters in check by Rishabh Pant. He did that job admirably, becoming DC’s most economical spinner with an economy of 6.65 to go with his 15 wickets of the season. 

 

A Captain Is Born

 

At the start of the season, all eyes were on Rishabh Pant to see how the youngster will handle the additional responsibility of leading the side. Come to the end of it, becoming the youngest skipper to lead an IPL side in the Playoffs, while being DC's 3rd highest scorer with 419 runs meant RP17 passed the litmus test with flying colours.

 

Sure, the season ended in heartbreak, but Rishabh Pant showed time and again that he is in it for the long haul. We saw a different Rishabh Pant this year, who adapted his aggressive batting style to suit the team’s needs as he played with responsibility on pitches that were tough to bat on. 

 

At the same time, he led the side with aplomb and ensured DC finished at the top of the league stage. Rishabh Pant could easily have been the youngest captain to lead a side in an IPL final had a few clutch moments gone his and DC’s way. But that’s cricket, isn’t it?

 

To see him distraught post-match after the loss against KKR in Qualifier 2 was heart-wrenching, but if anything, IPL 2021 was proof that Rishabh Pant’s story at DC’s helm is just getting started. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Rishab Pant (@rishabpant)

 

 

The Best DC Matches of IPL 2021

 

We topped the league table, won way more often than we lost, but still, the real sign of how good we were as a team in IPL 2021 comes in the fact that we were in the contest till the very end even in the games that we lost.

“Every game that we’ve lost has come down to pretty much the last ball. There’s probably not too many teams in IPL history that can say that at the end of the 14 games, that they’ve been in the contest until the last ball of every match they’ve played.”

True to the values inculcated upon by Ricky Ponting and the rest of the coaching staff, our boys fought till the end, and DC's never-say-die attitude meant we got to witness some absolute classics when they took to the field this season.

 

Roaring Start against CSK

 

Our DC Men in Blue set a benchmark right in the first game of the season when they beat CSK by 7 wickets and 10 balls to spare. The Super Kings had put up a challenging target of 189 in front of us, but we made light work of the chase as the Gabbar-Shaw pair set the ball rolling with a masterful 138-run partnership. Clinical chase, pure viewing pleasure.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Delhi Capitals (@delhicapitals)

 

Super Over Spectacle vs SRH

 

DC and Super Overs go hand-in-hand, but our clash against SRH this season was a match for the ages. On a Chennai track where batters found it tough to get going, our Shaw-stopper registered a quickfire 53 to ensure we were on top early on. Captain Pantastic (37 off 27 balls) and Smudge (34 off 25 balls) got us to a fighting total, with SRH being set a target of 160. 

 

With the match going into Super Over, the DC think tank made the brave call of going with Bapu instead of the in-form Avesh. That decision proved to be a masterstroke, as Axar made most of the ground dimensions and the surface to concede just 7 runs. That was smartly (and audaciously) chased down by Pant and Gabbar, who made sure DC ended up on the winning side once again. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A Record to be Proud of Against MI

 

Mumbai Indians proved to be our Achilles Heel last season, and IPL 2021 was the year where we got over that hurdle in style. While the win in the India leg of the competition was impressive, it was the low-scoring thriller in Sharjah that takes the cake as one of our most impressive performances of the season. 

 

A superb bowling performance, led by The Indore Express (3/15), meant the MI batsmen never found their feet. They mustered 129, but the chase proved to be trickier than expected as the surface slowed down even further in the second innings.

 
 
 
 
 
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With our top order having a rare off day, it was Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant who came together to resurrect the chase. Iyer showed tremendous composure and great match awareness, as he batted with the lower order, stitching together an unbeaten 39-run partnership with Ash to steer the side home. The moment when ‘The Master’ finished things off in style with a six to seal victory will long live in the hearts of countless DC fans. 

 

DC’s Never-Say-Die Attitude Shines Through vs RCB

 

Our first game in Ahmedabad was a game fitting for the world’s biggest cricket stadium. RCB made 171/5 and looked like handing us just our 2nd loss of IPL 2021 when Marcus Stoinis departed in the 13th over for the fall of the 4th wicket with 80 runs still to get.

 

Our southpaws were in no mood to throw in the towel, however. Rishabh Pant took responsibility and started the charge, and Hettie came in like a whirlwind to rekindle hopes of an unlikely victory. The duo caught RCB bowlers off-guard, as the boundaries started flowing with ease for the first time on the night. 

 

A 21-run 18th over brought Delhi roaring back into the game, and DC fans collectively held their breath with 6 needed off the last ball and Rishabh Pant on strike. But alas it was not to be, as he hit a four and we fell agonizingly short by 1 run.

 
 
 
 
 
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Despite the loss, it showed us what DC stood for this season - Individual players putting their hands up to take responsibility, fighting till the last ball, and backing each other through thick and thin.

 

B.E.L.I.E.V.E – Our Motto of the Season Fit Our Last Match Perfectly

 

This one hurt the most. After doing so much right during the season, the Qualifier 2 loss to KKR will haunt several players and fans for some time. However, it is important to look at the positives, as they give an insight into the team ethos that will hold us in good stead next season.

Despite losing a crucial toss, our DC batters hung in there and didn’t back down. Shreyas Iyer’s 30* along with his last ball six took us to 135, a total which gave something for the bowlers to play with. 

 

All seemed down and out at the 16th over, but our DC bowlers proved it’s never over until it's over as they turned the game on its head. KKR were cruising with 13 needed off 24 balls, but the last four overs saw Avesh, KG, Nortje and Ash apply immense pressure and enforce a KKR collapse no other bowling attack could have triggered.

 
 
 
 
 
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Although it didn’t end in our favour, the manner in which the team fought back shows that anything is possible when our Tigers take to the field. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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We’ve certainly taken another big step forward this season, and there are several feats to celebrate despite us falling short of our ultimate aim, which is exactly what we tried to do for you fans with this piece.

 

We’re signing off for the season and we’ve only got one thing left to say – We Roar Together, always!

 

 
 
 
 
 
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DC’s IPL 2021 – A Look Back at a Season to Remember

A few days since the closure, it all comes into perspective how special and unprecedented this IPL season was. Split over two phases, hosted in two different countries, the season opener and the final over 6 months apart on the calendar year - IPL 2021 was a campaign like no other.

 

For us though, it wasn’t quite the result we wanted, as our DC boys fell agonisingly short of a second final appearance in a row. Despite that, there were several positives to take from IPL 2021, and learnings that will only help our DC stars get better as we look forward to IPL 2022.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Delhi Capitals (@delhicapitals)

 

But before that, let’s look back at some of the standout performers from this season, along with a few games that were the highlight of DC’s impressive campaign. Since IPL 2021 was split into two halves, it is only apt that our season report follows the same template too!

 

 

Delhi Capitals Rise to The Top in India Leg of IPL 2021

 

Our season began with some unfortunate news, as it was confirmed that Shreyas Iyer would miss the season due to a shoulder injury. Rishabh Pant became Captain Pantastic as he was appointed the job at the helm in Iyer’s absence, and his first task was to get one over his idol and mentor, MS Dhoni.

 

With excitement amongst DC fans and neutrals at an all-time high, our DC Men in Blue made light work of their first game, trouncing the Men in Yellow by 7 wickets to start the season in style. In hindsight, that opening game, with Gabbar and Shaw notching up a 138-run partnership and Avesh Khan taking the all-important scalps of Faf and MS Dhoni, offered a sign of things to come for all things DC in IPL 2021.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Delhi Capitals (@delhicapitals)

 

The first half of the season included several memorable moments, from Axar Patel coming out of quarantine and becoming the first spinner to successfully bowl a Super Over and guide his side to victory against SRH, to Prithvi Shaw carting Shivam Mavi to all corners of the park to become just the 2nd IPL player to smack 6 fours in an over. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Delhi Capitals (@delhicapitals)

 

 

The DC stars were in full flow during the India leg of IPL 2021, as we won 6 out of our first 8 games to rise to the top of the table with the second-best Net Run Rate (NRR) in the league. Even in the two defeats, against RR (by 3 wickets) and RCB (by 1 run), we were in the game till the last over as the teams fought tooth and nail for the 2 points. 

 

All was going well for us earlier in the year, but just then the COVID-19 pandemic reared its ugly head again, and several players, including our Mishi bhai, tested positive for the virus. IPL 2021 was indefinitely postponed on May 4, and all of us anxiously waited for the next chapter in what was proving to be a campaign to remember. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Delhi Capitals (@delhicapitals)

 

 

Tough Luck in UAE, But A Campaign to Be Proud Of

 

After an anxious wait of 143 days, Rishabh Pant and Co. took to the field once again, this time in Dubai. And we started the second half of the season just like the first one, with a thumping win over SRH by 8 wickets.

 

The COVID-19 enforced break also gave Shreyas Iyer enough time to return to full fitness, and he announced his arrival in style. Chasing 135, the Magician crafted an unbeaten 47*, finishing the game with a sublime six to prove once again that class is permanent. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Delhi Capitals (@delhicapitals)

 

 

That innings was a sign of things to come from Iyer, who, despite playing less than half a season, notched up 175 runs at an average of 35. On UAE pitches that were slow and low for most of the campaign, Shreyas’ timely knocks meant our middle-order was once again a force to be reckoned with. 

 

 

Just like the first half, the second half of the season had highs that left fans brimming with joy. Back-to-back wins in low-scoring thrillers against MI and CSK meant we became the first side to do the double over the two sides in the same season, as our bowlers once again dominated the proceedings.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Delhi Capitals (@delhicapitals)

 

We finished the league stage at top of the table with the second-best NRR. But unfortunately, we had to bow out of the competition after two-tense final-over finishes against CSK and KKR in the Playoffs.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Delhi Capitals (@delhicapitals)

 

 

It was a special run in IPL 2021 despite the way it ended, so it only does the team justice if we go down (recent) memory lane and delve into a detailed round up the best performers and matches from an enthralling season to say the least.

 

Top DC Performers of IPL 2021

 

The Gabbar-Shaw Show

 

In a campaign where several opening duos caught the eye, Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw came out with a swashbuckling, action-packed season of the Gabbar-Shaw Show. ‘Bade Miyan and Chhote Miyan’ complemented each other brilliantly, with Shaw usually going hard up top while Shikhar played the anchor role to perfection as they amassed a a combined 1066 runs in IPL 2021.

 

It was a season of redemption for Prithvi, who came back from a tough IPL 2020 to remind everyone of why he is one of the most exciting openers in Indian cricket. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A 479-run season saw him finish as the second-highest run-getter for DC, while his strike rate of 159.13 was the best in the IPL for batters who faced over 150 balls. The six fours in an over against KKR will be remembered for a long time, but one other Shaw memory that will always stay with us is this conversation with Ricky in the post-match speech after a top knock in our season opener against CSK.

 

 

Gabbar was in a class of his own, as he enjoyed a milestone filled campaign. Smashing his 200th T20 six, becoming just the 4th DC batsman to score 2000+ runs for the franchise and scoring more than 400 runs for the 6th consecutive season, he was at his absolute best. We would have carried on with Gabbar praise, as much for his consistency as his attractive shot-making, but once again Ricky summed it up perfectly in one of his post-match speeches as he praised the batsman for his elite footwork. 

 

“Shikhar, love it when you start using your feet again. When you start going towards those fast bowlers and hitting them back the ground mate. They can’t bowl at you.”

You’ve got an image of Dhawan running down the track and taking a fast bowler over his head right now too, don’t you?

 

The Rise of The Indore Express

 

Avesh Khan came into the season having played just 2 IPL games over the past two seasons. However, the young speedster was thrust into the limelight in the first game, as several of our pacers were either out injured or unavailable.

 

He grabbed the opportunity with both hands and has never looked back since. Dismissing Faf du Plessis and MS Dhoni for ducks would be the highlight for many a bowler in an IPL campaign, but it is a testament to Avesh’s form and resolve that it was just one of the highs from a season where he went from being the "unsung hero" to the "sung hero."

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Delhi Capitals (@delhicapitals)

 

 

What stands out for Avesh from this season is his incredible consistency. He went wicketless in just 2 games all season and broke the record for the most wickets by an Indian bowler for DC in a single season with 24.

 

Effective in all phases of the game, IPL 2021 was the season The Indore Express arrived in style, and there’s no doubt that Khan Saab will soar to greater heights in the coming years.

 

Protea Fire Speeding for Fun in UAE

 

Turning pitches in India meant Anrich Nortje didn’t get a chance to bowl in the first half of IPL 2021. But come the UAE leg of the competition, Nortje was at it again from the start, ruffling a few feathers as he consistently clocked 145+ kmph for fun.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Delhi Capitals (@delhicapitals)

 

Straight into the line-up against SRH in UAE, Anrich Nortje bowled the then 8 fastest balls of IPL 2021 in his first appearance of the season. His searing pace up top troubled many a batter, as he consistently picked up wickets in the powerplay. His 6 wickets during the phase were the joint third highest in IPL 2021, an achievement that becomes even more impressive when you consider he played just 8 games this season. 

 

Anrich Nortje ended the campaign with 12 wickets, as his heroics in the powerplay and at the death ensured there was never a dull moment when the fiery South African had the ball in hand. 

  

Bapu Shows His Mettle

 

Axar Patel came into IPL 2021 with his stock at an all-time high, following his headline-grabbing performances in the Test series against England. However, the all-rounder tested positive for COVID-19 and had to miss the first few games as a result. But boy, did he announce his arrival in style when he came back!

 

Thrust straight into the line-up mere days after coming out of quarantine, Axar Patel had the ball on a string and landed it perfectly in a game-changing spell against SRH. He then showed immense courage, holding his hand up to bowl a superb Super Over against SRH where he conceded just 7 runs and become the first spinner to win his side a Super Over contest in IPL history. Once again, a Ricky Ponting quote summed up our feelings perfectly, “Just like riding a bike, isn’t it?”

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Delhi Capitals (@delhicapitals)

 

Bapu went from strength to strength and truly came into his own in the UAE leg of IPL 2021. With pitches assisting the slower bowlers, Axar Patel was called upon to stifle the opposition and keep batters in check by Rishabh Pant. He did that job admirably, becoming DC’s most economical spinner with an economy of 6.65 to go with his 15 wickets of the season. 

 

A Captain Is Born

 

At the start of the season, all eyes were on Rishabh Pant to see how the youngster will handle the additional responsibility of leading the side. Come to the end of it, becoming the youngest skipper to lead an IPL side in the Playoffs, while being DC's 3rd highest scorer with 419 runs meant RP17 passed the litmus test with flying colours.

 

Sure, the season ended in heartbreak, but Rishabh Pant showed time and again that he is in it for the long haul. We saw a different Rishabh Pant this year, who adapted his aggressive batting style to suit the team’s needs as he played with responsibility on pitches that were tough to bat on. 

 

At the same time, he led the side with aplomb and ensured DC finished at the top of the league stage. Rishabh Pant could easily have been the youngest captain to lead a side in an IPL final had a few clutch moments gone his and DC’s way. But that’s cricket, isn’t it?

 

To see him distraught post-match after the loss against KKR in Qualifier 2 was heart-wrenching, but if anything, IPL 2021 was proof that Rishabh Pant’s story at DC’s helm is just getting started. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Rishab Pant (@rishabpant)

 

 

The Best DC Matches of IPL 2021

 

We topped the league table, won way more often than we lost, but still, the real sign of how good we were as a team in IPL 2021 comes in the fact that we were in the contest till the very end even in the games that we lost.

“Every game that we’ve lost has come down to pretty much the last ball. There’s probably not too many teams in IPL history that can say that at the end of the 14 games, that they’ve been in the contest until the last ball of every match they’ve played.”

True to the values inculcated upon by Ricky Ponting and the rest of the coaching staff, our boys fought till the end, and DC's never-say-die attitude meant we got to witness some absolute classics when they took to the field this season.

 

Roaring Start against CSK

 

Our DC Men in Blue set a benchmark right in the first game of the season when they beat CSK by 7 wickets and 10 balls to spare. The Super Kings had put up a challenging target of 189 in front of us, but we made light work of the chase as the Gabbar-Shaw pair set the ball rolling with a masterful 138-run partnership. Clinical chase, pure viewing pleasure.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Delhi Capitals (@delhicapitals)

 

Super Over Spectacle vs SRH

 

DC and Super Overs go hand-in-hand, but our clash against SRH this season was a match for the ages. On a Chennai track where batters found it tough to get going, our Shaw-stopper registered a quickfire 53 to ensure we were on top early on. Captain Pantastic (37 off 27 balls) and Smudge (34 off 25 balls) got us to a fighting total, with SRH being set a target of 160. 

 

With the match going into Super Over, the DC think tank made the brave call of going with Bapu instead of the in-form Avesh. That decision proved to be a masterstroke, as Axar made most of the ground dimensions and the surface to concede just 7 runs. That was smartly (and audaciously) chased down by Pant and Gabbar, who made sure DC ended up on the winning side once again. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

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A Record to be Proud of Against MI

 

Mumbai Indians proved to be our Achilles Heel last season, and IPL 2021 was the year where we got over that hurdle in style. While the win in the India leg of the competition was impressive, it was the low-scoring thriller in Sharjah that takes the cake as one of our most impressive performances of the season. 

 

A superb bowling performance, led by The Indore Express (3/15), meant the MI batsmen never found their feet. They mustered 129, but the chase proved to be trickier than expected as the surface slowed down even further in the second innings.

 
 
 
 
 
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With our top order having a rare off day, it was Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant who came together to resurrect the chase. Iyer showed tremendous composure and great match awareness, as he batted with the lower order, stitching together an unbeaten 39-run partnership with Ash to steer the side home. The moment when ‘The Master’ finished things off in style with a six to seal victory will long live in the hearts of countless DC fans. 

 

DC’s Never-Say-Die Attitude Shines Through vs RCB

 

Our first game in Ahmedabad was a game fitting for the world’s biggest cricket stadium. RCB made 171/5 and looked like handing us just our 2nd loss of IPL 2021 when Marcus Stoinis departed in the 13th over for the fall of the 4th wicket with 80 runs still to get.

 

Our southpaws were in no mood to throw in the towel, however. Rishabh Pant took responsibility and started the charge, and Hettie came in like a whirlwind to rekindle hopes of an unlikely victory. The duo caught RCB bowlers off-guard, as the boundaries started flowing with ease for the first time on the night. 

 

A 21-run 18th over brought Delhi roaring back into the game, and DC fans collectively held their breath with 6 needed off the last ball and Rishabh Pant on strike. But alas it was not to be, as he hit a four and we fell agonizingly short by 1 run.

 
 
 
 
 
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Despite the loss, it showed us what DC stood for this season - Individual players putting their hands up to take responsibility, fighting till the last ball, and backing each other through thick and thin.

 

B.E.L.I.E.V.E – Our Motto of the Season Fit Our Last Match Perfectly

 

This one hurt the most. After doing so much right during the season, the Qualifier 2 loss to KKR will haunt several players and fans for some time. However, it is important to look at the positives, as they give an insight into the team ethos that will hold us in good stead next season.

Despite losing a crucial toss, our DC batters hung in there and didn’t back down. Shreyas Iyer’s 30* along with his last ball six took us to 135, a total which gave something for the bowlers to play with. 

 

All seemed down and out at the 16th over, but our DC bowlers proved it’s never over until it's over as they turned the game on its head. KKR were cruising with 13 needed off 24 balls, but the last four overs saw Avesh, KG, Nortje and Ash apply immense pressure and enforce a KKR collapse no other bowling attack could have triggered.

 
 
 
 
 
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Although it didn’t end in our favour, the manner in which the team fought back shows that anything is possible when our Tigers take to the field. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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We’ve certainly taken another big step forward this season, and there are several feats to celebrate despite us falling short of our ultimate aim, which is exactly what we tried to do for you fans with this piece.

 

We’re signing off for the season and we’ve only got one thing left to say – We Roar Together, always!

 

 
 
 
 
 
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