It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the Delhi Capitals underperformed in the IPL 2022 – coming short of a playoff berth by one win – after their dominance, and promise in the last couple of IPL seasons.
Yes, they were hurt by some harsh circumstances – player unavailability due to national duty, injury, covid-19, typhoid to Prithvi Shaw – but the Capitals – their captain Rishabh Pant, coach Ricky Ponting – will also have to admit to their mistakes tactically, in the selection of the eleven and on the field.
A number of Capitals players had a mediocre season, but a few really disappointed. Here are three such:
The Palghar cricketer, though, wasn’t up to his mark and fans’ expectations this season with the ball: in 14 matches, though he picked 15 wickets – 6 of which came in the last two games only and mostly in the death when batters failed to connect their hits – at a high economy of 9.78, the worst among all Delhi bowlers who bowled a minimum of 5 overs.
Mandeep Singh has been around the IPL for a long time, having made his debut in 2010, playing for four different franchises. But, the Punjab batsman has never nailed down his place in the eleven, or position in the batting order.
This season for the Capitals, in absence of the likes of Warner, Marsh and Shaw, he was given the role of a top-order batter; he batted at number 3 twice, and opened once – recording scores of 0, 18, and 0. Not just this season, but Mandeep has performed below expectations most of his IPL career.
Delhi Capitals chose Rishabh Pant as their main man (captain) for the future, letting go of Shreyas Iyer. In the last couple of seasons, Pant was heavily criticised was dropping down the anchor role – his strike rate which hovered around 160 till 2019 went down to below 130 in the last two seasons.
This year Pant got that back over 150, playing the aggressor role once again, utilizing his talent and skillset in what is his bread and butter: attacking the bowlers from the onset of his innings.
However, Pant scored the least amount of runs he has in a single season since 2017: 340 runs in 14 matches at an average of 30; Pant didn’t hit a single fifty despite batting at number 4. He played plenty of attractive knocks, plenty of what could have been. But the big knock didn’t come for him, for the Delhi Capitals who crashed out in the league stage. It was only by his standards that Rishabh Pant underperformed.