Delhi Capitals' investment in youth has been rewarded in IPL 2019, says AB de Villiers

This is the first time since 2012 that Delhi team went past the group stages.

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers. (Photo by ARUN SANKAR/AFP/Getty Images)

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It was until last year that the Delhi franchise remained the perennial underachievers in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Having played the tournament since the inaugural year, Delhi are yet to make their maiden final appearance and reached the last four back in 2012. The franchise decided to overhaul things this year with the change of hands and even the name was transformed from Delhi Daredevils to Delhi Capitals (DC).

However, it was not just the cosmetic changes that the franchise effected but also some genuine ones and it paid off. The DC have impressed in the 12th edition of the IPL and are a win away from making their first final. After beating Sunrisers Hyderabad in the eliminator, Shreyas Iyer‘s side will take on Chennai Super Kings in the second qualifier in Visakhapatnam on Friday and a win will set a final clash between Mumbai and Delhi.

The DC have been praised for the way they have executed their plans to make advancements in the tournament. The presence of two iconic former captains in Ricky Ponting and Sourav Ganguly as coach and mentor, respectively, has helped the side even more.

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has lauded Delhi Capitals’ approach this season and now, former South Africa skipper AB de Villiers has echoed the former’s thoughts. AB, who has played for Delhi in the past and currently sweats it out for Royal Challengers Bangalore, is of the opinion that investing in youth has paid off for the DC.

While the team is led by 24-year-old Iyer who took over midway last year after the Gautam Gambhir debacle, the DC also features talented youngsters like Prithvi Shaw and Rishabh Pant. Even Kagiso Rabada, the South African pacer who spearheaded the DC and remains the tournament’s highest wicket-taker despite pulling out because of an injury, is only 23. Keemo Paul is another player that the DC gained from this season and he is 21.

DC vs CSK, a clash between youth and experience

“It’s a classic clash between youth and experience, between the fiery youngsters of DC and the ice-cold veterans of CSK,” AB de Villiers penned in his column for the Times of India on Friday.

Also read- IPL 2019, Qualifier 2, CSK vs DC: Match Prediction – Weather Report, Pitch Conditions, Playing XIs and Live Streaming Details2019

“DC have been gaining momentum. No fewer than 14 of their 24-man squad are under 26 years old but greatly guided by Ricky Ponting and Sourav Ganguly. Their investment in reward has been rewarded,” he added.

In their last encounter, DC had a massive collapse against the CSK while chasing 180 to win and lost by 80 runs. Even in their first clash at the Feroz Shah Kotla Ground, Chennai had defeated Delhi by 6 wickets.

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