The Delhi Capitals are a beloved Indian Premier League cricket team from Delhi. Founded as Delhi Daredevils in 2008, the Capitals used to be the only IPL team never to appear in the league finals.
However, even though 2020 might not have been kind to everyone, the Capitals and their fans will probably remember it fondly, as they have managed to accomplish something they’ve been trying to do since their first season in 2008.
In this article, we will reflect on DC’s season so far, while also going over their brief history in the IPL over the last 12 years.
The Build-Up to the First-Ever IPL Final
The road to the second qualifier was full of upheavals for the Delhi Capitals. After a four-match losing streak — one of which was a crushing defeat to the Mumbai Indians — and only one win against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, it seemed as if all was lost for the Delhi Capitals.
On the other hand, their opponents, Sunrisers Hyderabad, appeared to have an easy path to the IPL finals. The 2016 champions and 2018 runner-ups were likely to enter yet another final. Their 11 to 6 head to head win/loss record against the Capitals seemed to confirm that, which is why they were clear favourites before the match. In fact, the 2020 IPL statistics, which you can check out on Sportsbet.io with Brett Lee, showed a 1:4 win for DC and 4:1 win for SRH.
Nevertheless, on November 8, the Delhi Capitals managed to defeat the Sunrisers Hyderabad in a turbulent playoff match. Much to the nation’s delight, DC have managed to reach the Premier League finals for the first time, after qualifying for the semifinals twice before, in 2008 and 2009.
12 Seasons of IPL
Before this year’s IPL edition, the Delhi Capitals used to put on mediocre performances. Most of their seasons were underwhelming, apart from the first two when they managed to reach the semifinals. They only played in the playoffs two more times, in 2012 and 2019.
However, thanks to the leadership of their head coach, Ricky Ponting, there has been a noticeable change in the team’s performance for the last couple of seasons, which has brought their game to new heights. What additionally helped the team conquer this year’s IPL was their young captain, Shreyas Iyer, who played an important role in bringing the team to the finals.
The closest the Capitals got to winning the IPL title in the past was in 2009, when they secured 20 points from their 14 games and met the Deccan Chargers in the semifinals. However, they lost the game by six wickets, and the Chargers eventually went on to win the tournament.
That was not the first time the Capitals were eliminated in the semis, as a similar situation took place the year before. Namely, they finished the 2008 IPL in fourth place, with 15 points from 14 games in the league stage.
DC bounced back under Virender Sehwag’s guidance in 2012, after two years of mediocre play. They finished on top of the table in the league stages with 22 points from 14 games, but lost to the Kolkata Knight Riders. KKR went on to win the league that year.
From 2013 to 2018, the Delhi Capitals did not show much promise. There was almost no hope that they would return to their days of glory, as they did not manage to qualify for the playoffs during those six appearances.
However, 2019 was the comeback start the Capitals needed, with Ponting as their head coach. That year, DC finally qualified for the playoffs again and finished third, losing to the eventual runners-up, the Chennai Super Kings.