Delhi Capitals have been one of the most under-performing franchises in IPL. That said, the squad is slowly picking up. They reached the finals of IPL 2020. Over the past seasons, the franchise has actually been host to a few top cricketers. In this article, we take a look at the all-time strongest DC XI if they played Test cricket. Of course, IPL is a pure T20 tournament, and teams pick players based on their suitability for the format. Nevertheless, if we were to form a Test team out of the players who represented Delhi, here is how the XI could line up.
Openers: Virender Sehwag and David Warner
Although Virender Sehwag was not rated highly for his technique, he still made close to 8000 Test runs. This feat also includes two triple-centuries, the only Indian to have achieved it. The former Delhi captain is also currently the highest run-getter for the franchise in IPL history. Hence, he is part of the DC XI if they played Test cricket.
Similar to Sehwag, Warner, too, was not considered for Test cricket initially. However, after he got a chance, he ensured with his performances that his position in the XI never slipped away. Including the game in which he made a record-hundred in the first session of a game, Warner has been part of 86 Tests for Australia so far.
Middle-Order: Gautam Gambhir, Steve Smith (C), Ajinkya Rahane, AB de Villiers and Rishabh Pant (WK)
Gautam Gambhir never played at No.3 in Tests but for the sake of this XI’s balance, he will feature in this position. Though he succeeded in limited-overs cricket, Gambhir’s Test career was not extraordinary, to be honest. That said, he did score 4154 runs in 104 innings and was part of a squad that reached No.1 on the ICC charts.
Steve Smith and Ajinkya Rahane are Test specialists, and they would be natural selections to this XI. Both are part of the current DC squad, and they would want to make an impact in the upcoming campaign.
It was tough to leave one out of Mahela Jayawardene and AB de Villiers. However, ABD comes to this XI purely based on the fact that with Smith and Rahane already in the unit, Mahela’s skills would be in excess. On the other hand, ABD has himself made 8765 runs in Tests. He has played a few memorable knocks, like the one against India in which he had to block the entire day.
Rishabh Pant is fairly new to his Test career, but will feature in the DC XI if they played Test cricket. One of the main reasons is that DC has not had many wicket-keepers who offer competition to Pant. Nevertheless, the Delhi youngster has proved that he can survive in the longest format with both the bat and the gloves.
All-Rounders: R Ashwin
413 wickets is a terrific achievement for any spinner. This is all the more special for R Ashwin, who has also found success abroad. Together with this, the Tamil Nadu man has also contributed with the bat often. He has five centuries to his name, which is proof of the stability he brings to the lower-order. Hence, he comes in as the sole all-rounder of this XI.
Bowlers: Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Glenn McGrath
A part of India’s current pace attack, both Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami will form an important part of this XI. While Ishant currently plays for the franchise, Shami was part of the unit from 2014 to 2018. Ishant has 14 wickets for Delhi, and Shami has 20 wickets for the franchise.
With 563 wickets in his Test career, Glenn McGrath is undroppable in the strongest DC XI if they played Test cricket. The Aussie played 16 games for the franchise and took 14 wickets. His economy of 6.70 was actually impressive. However, he did not take part in the tournament after his stint with Delhi.