The addition of offspinner R Ashwin and batsman Ajinkya Rahane will add value to Delhi Capitals, feels CEO Dhiraj Malhotra. Ashwin and Rahane were captains of Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals last year before the latter was replaced by Steve Smith in the middle of the season. This year however, both players have been traded to the Capitals and with the experience, Malhotra is confident of Ashwin and Rahane playing a major role in DC’s IPL 2020 campaign.
“They bring a lot of experience and you know apart from winning and doing well, we have been also looking at building a family and fan base,” Malhotra said. “These two are team players and bring a lot of value to the franchise with their experience. Having spoken to both, I know they want to contribute. They are raring to go. Even though you speak about experience when you take those names, I see exuberance and the spark. Can’t wait for them to come in and guide us with their wealth of knowledge.”
For long, Delhi Capitals have struggled to strike the right team balance, but last year with the emergence of youngsters Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant and others, the franchise has shown spark of maintain their long over-due consistency. With these youngsters expected to play core of the franchise, Malhotra believes DC can go a long way and build a legacy similar to Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings – the two most successful IPL franchises with a combined seven titles between them.
“Definitely the plan is to keep the core same as we have quite a few young guns in Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer and now we have R. Ashwin, Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan. We were the youngest team in the competition last year and we would like to continue and grow just like say a CSK does or a MI does really well,” Malhotra said.
“There is always pressure to perform. But it is also important to gel well and build a good team. The only confusion we have right now is that we don’t know what will happen in the 2021 season. So, the team we are building now is for the 2020 season. I don’t know how many players we will be able to retain and what will be the policy. So right now, we are looking at this year.
“We mean business. Wish to make sure that the coach is happy with the players we pick and then go on to win hearts with our performance. Be more consistent and maybe hold the cup at the end of the season.”