Shreyas Iyer’s hopes of making an impression in this year’s Indian Premier League was squashed when he injured his shoulder during the first India-England ODI in Pune and was subsequently ruled out of the ODI series. Following further scans, it was decided Iyer will need to undergo surgery and miss further action.
Iyer has been completely ruled out of the tournament and will undergo surgery on April 8 and will miss at least five months of action.
In Iyer’s absence, Delhi had to pick a captain and were spoilt for choices. From new recruit Steve Smith to R Ashwin, Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan, the Capitals had a fair share of options going forward but they surprised everyone on Tuesday night when they announced that Rishabh Pant will be their captain for the upcoming season.
Pant’s selection over the senior pros and even Prithvi Shaw did raise a few eyebrows but the Capitals seem to have taken the decision keeping the future in mind and if Pant’s recent form is anything to go by, he could be at the peak of his confidence.
Following the appointment, Pant, who was bought by the Capitals in 2016 for INR 1.9 crore and was retained in 2018, said that it is a dream come true and he can’t wait to get started.
“Delhi is where I grew up, and where my IPL journey began six years ago. To lead this team one day is a dream I’ve always harboured. And today, as that dream comes true, I feel humbled. I am truly grateful, especially to our team owners, who considered me capable enough for this role.
“With an amazing coaching staff, and a plethora of accomplished seniors around me, I can’t wait to give my absolute best for Delhi Capitals,” Rishabh Pant said after being named the captain of DC.
Iyer also backed Pant to do well and said he’s the best man to lead the side in his absence.
“I had no doubt that Rishabh would be the best man for the job,” Iyer said in the media release.
Pant has played 68 games for the Capitals across five seasons, scoring 2079 runs at an average of 35.23. The 23-year-old has also slammed one century (128*) and 12 fifties so far.
The wicketkeeper-batsman’s recent form for India also has to be a contributing factor behind Delhi’s selection with Pant scoring runs in Australia and the England series at home as India won crucial games following his contribution with both bat and gloves behind the stumps. In the last series against England, Pant has scored a total of 527 runs from 11 games across all the formats. He hit four fifties and one century as well in the process.
However, scoring with the bat and doing the same along with leading a team in the IPL are two completely different challenges and Pant’s test of character and leadership will be first seen when Delhi plays their first match of the season against Chennai Super Kings on April 10 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.