The Delhi Capitals, one of the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) high-profile franchises, have come under critical observation from former coach and cricketing stalwart, Mohammad Kaif. Reflecting on the team’s previous campaigns, Kaif pinpointed what he perceives as a core issue hindering the franchise’s success—a failure to adequately back its players.

When I was there, we went to the final in one season and finished top three in the other two seasons. I think the players are not getting backed properly. They are not able to identify players and back them. You can ask the same question of RCB

Mohammad Kaif, to Lallantop

Kaif, who has experienced the inner workings of the team as a coach and mentor, shared his insights on what might have led to the Capitals’ disappointing 9th-place finish in the IPL 2023 season. His critique comes at a critical juncture as the team sets its sights on a potential turnaround with the return of power-hitter Rishabh Pant as captain for the upcoming IPL 2024 season.

The Capitals, representative of India’s capital and with a fanbase with soaring expectations, have struggled to capture the elusive IPL title. Despite boasting prominent players and skilled coaching staff over the years, consistency and long-term success have been hard to come by.

In a bid to refocus and strategize for the forthcoming IPL 2024, coach Ricky Ponting has emphasized the necessity of rigorous preparation and an unwavering focus on the ultimate goal—winning the coveted championship. Ponting, a cricketing legend himself, highlighted the significance of total engagement from every member of the team. He stands committed to developing the squad’s talents and honing their abilities to ensure they are poised for success.

It’s just the start. We don’t expect to be practising at our absolute best right now. We’re not even so much looking forward to the first game yet. We’re getting some volume work done.

Ricky Ponting, following DC’s training session

While the franchise has taken these concerns to heart, with Ponting at the helm and Pant leading on the field, fans and management alike are hopeful this combination will catalyze a change in fortunes. The Capitals will look to blend experience with youthful exuberance, backed by solid leadership and, as Kaif would advocate, a more supportive environment for the players.

Everything we do, every training session we have, every meeting we have, every recovery session we have, every chat that I have with the players is going to be about making them better to give ourselves the best chance of winning.

Ricky Ponting, following DC’s training session

As the team embarks on the pre-season preparations, the Capitals are aware that the spotlight will be on how they respond to past shortcomings and whether they can translate high-caliber training and talent into a winning formula. Only time will tell if the Capitals can shrug off the criticisms and rise to the occasion, cementing their place as one of the IPL’s most formidable contingents in the 2024 installment of the tournament.

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