Kagiso Rabada excited for fresh start with rechristened Delhi Capitals

The South African pacer feels the franchise has put together a strong squad that can challenge for the IPL title this season.

Kagiso Rabada joined up with the Delhi Capitals squad on Friday in Mumbai.   -  SANDEEP SAXENA

Two last-four appearances is all that Delhi Capitals, formerly Delhi Daredevils, has managed in twelve seasons of IPL. Previously under the ownership of GMR Group, the franchise wasn't shy of investing heavily on players: Yuvraj Singh, for example, was bought for Rs 16 crore in the IPL 2015 auction, while Dinesh Karthik was bought for Rs 12.5 crore only a year earlier, in the IPL 2014 auction. But it has failed to play to potential in recent seasons.

It goes into the twelfth season having done shrewd business and with hopes of fighting for the title this season, which could be the most competitive in the tournament's history with all eight teams evenly matched.

Kagiso Rabada is among the key players in the setup and, ahead of the new season, feels the franchise has the potential to not just compete but be one of the powerhouses.

“I think we have put together a great squad this time around," the South African fast said.

Read: New name, new logo, and a new vision for Delhi Capitals

"It is a fairly young squad and I feel there’s a good mixture of overseas players along with the Indian players. We have some very exciting spinners as well along with good batsmen. Of course, the pace bowling is going to be one of our strengths and I am really looking forward to playing a part in my team’s success this season,” he added.

The franchise renamed itself to Delhi Capitals in the off-season and Rabada said it marks a fresh start. “We know that the name of the franchise has changed and we will be playing in new colors. We have a new slate with new goals on it and I am excited to see how Delhi Capitals is growing to progress this season."

Rabada said the "fairly young team" has been together for a couple of seasons now and has the potential to transform into a "powerhouse".

"What is essential is that it’s a fairly young team that has kind of stuck together through a couple of seasons, and is now growing together to get valuable experience. I think we have the potential to be a powerhouse in the future.”

The South African said the T20 format demands the players to be clear in their minds, whether they are batsmen or bowlers.

"In T20 cricket, you need to weigh up your options and make certain choices which have more chances of going your way. You have to act quickly in T20 cricket and yes whatever you want to bowl, you have to be clear in your mind and give it your best shot.”

Delhi Daredevils begins its IPL 2019 campaign with an away fixture against Mumbai Indians at Wankhede Stadium on Sunday (March 24).