It’s been just two days that the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League has concluded but franchises and fans alike already have set their sights on the next edition, which is likely to be held in April 2020, five months from now. Come the IPL 2021, not only will the likes of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, who finished as the bottom-two sides, be eager to resurrect themselves, onus will also be on the four teams that reached the playoffs.
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Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore made it to the playoffs of this year, before the defending champions took home the IPL trophy, winning the title for a record-extending fifth occasion. SRH have made the playoffs of all editions since winning the title in 2016, but it was a season to remember especially for RCB, who made it to the top four after finishing at the bottom twice in the last three years.
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Which brings us to the Capitals. Ever since being rechristened as the Delhi Capitals, the team has turned over a new leaf. While last year, they reached the playoff for the first time in seven years, they bettered it this time around by reaching their maiden IPL final. At the conclusion of the league stage, DC finished as the second-ranked team after Mumbai Indians, a team they lost to four times this IPL, including the final.
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Based on their performance this year, former all-rounder Irfan Pathan is confident that DC will go on to rule in the next few editions of the IPL. Drawing comparisons with the ever-consistent CSK, Pathan expects DC to follow the same form as the three-time IPL champions, his confidence stemming from the Capitals’ balanced team composition.
“I see the Delhi Capitals in the next few years like CSK used to be earlier. They used to dominate and win a lot of matches. But now you will see the Delhi Capitals dominate for the next few years,” Pathan said on the Cricket Connected show on Star Sports.
“They have given themselves a very good chance by choosing a very good team and preparing a very good core. They have a very good captain. They have a couple of South African pacemen who bowl very fast.”
DC started off well to win six out of their first eight games before losing their way. For a while, DC found themselves in the middle of a slump, losing four matches in a row before they recovered to make it to the playoffs. Pathan though, reckons there are a couple of areas DC need to work on, and provided they can improve on the same, there’s no reason why DC cannot go on and dominate teams in future.
“They have to work on two things. If they can get a good finisher, whether he is an Indian or overseas. I still feel they have a small problem. They rely a lot on Shimron Hetmyer and Stoinis has also done very well to a certain extent but if one more batsman supports them, then this team will become even stronger,” he added.
“And along with that I feel a good wrist-spinner, who is preferably Indian on whom they can invest. If they can find a good player like that, these two players, then this team will become even more dangerous.
“They already have good openers, middle-order and a very good captain, who is cool and young and the best part is that most of their players are young and that too with experience, which is a very rare combination. That means they are going to dominate a lot in the next 4-5 years.”