In the last season, Delhi, placed in Group B (Jharkhand, Orissa, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Vidarbha, Saurashtra, Rajasthan and Assam were the other teams in the group), registered only two wins from eight matches it had played. It was a below par performance from a team that was looking to blood a few youngsters.

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Starting the season on a rousing note with a win against Assam, it drew against Maharashtra which proved costly. Delhi conceded the first innings lead after promising to overhaul its opponent’s 635 for two declared. Delhi made 590. The defeat against Karnataka, after it was bowled out for 90 and 164, dented Delhi’s hopes of qualifying. The setback showed in the team’s performances, as it could win only one match (against Rajasthan) out of the subsequent five games. It failed to bowl out Orissa in an entire day’s play, and the four-run defeat to Saurashtra completed Delhi’s misery. Delhi, which drew against Jharkhand and Vidarbha in earlier rounds, finished fourth in its group.

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The arrival of Rishabh Pant was the best thing to have happened to Delhi. The 19-year-old batsman aggregated 972 runs that included a triple-century against Maharashtra, and raised hopes of a wonderful season for Delhi, but the team faltered as the tournament progressed.

The lack of a potent bowling attack hurt Delhi the most.

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K. P. Bhaskar (coach): “We did not get time to settle down last season. It was a kind of transition period. There were hardly any preparations but we still had our moments. We are targeting the trophy because we have to relive Delhi’s glory when it was one of the strongest teams in domestic cricket.”

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Last season: Failed to qualify for the knock-out.

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