Vivo IPL 2021: Delhi Capitals on Tuesday announced that wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant will lead the side in the absence of regular skipper Shreyas Iyer. The decision came after Iyer sustained a shoulder injury. He dislocated his left shoulder in the recent ODI series against England in Pune.
Pant will be the fifth-youngest cricketer to lead an IPL franchise after Virat Kohli, Steve Smith, Shreyas Iyer and Suresh Raina. The former two took the captaincy reigns when they were 22 while Shreyas Iyer and Suresh Raina took the role when they were 23 years old.
Rishabh Pant has lead Delhi in the domestic crickets and has no experience of leading an international side or a franchise. The selectors and the management of the Delhi Capitals were convinced leaving behind the likes of Ajinkya Rahane and R Ashwin on the side.
The 23-years old cricketer was humbled by the decision of the management and said it was like a dream.
Delhi is where I grew up, and where my IPL journey began six years ago,” Pant said in a Capitals media release. “To lead this team one day is a dream I’ve always harboured. And today, as that dream comes true, I feel humbled.”
The regular skipper of Delhi Capitals, Shreyas Iyer backed the franchise in their decision and said that Pant is the best men to take over the role.
“I had no doubt that Rishabh would be the best man for the job,” Iyer said in the media release.
Pant was first brought by Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) for a whopping INR 1.9 Crores back in 2016 and in 2018 he got a massive hike in his salary as became the first choice retention for Delhi. The franchise retained him for INR 15 Crores which is USD 2 million approx.
The year 2022 will host a mega auction and Rishabh Pant is likely to be the first choice retention for Delhi based franchise along with Shreyas Iyer and the core of the team.
In the recent series, the left-handed cricketer showed tremendous confidence not only to perform on the given opportunities but also to get his place back in all three squads. He saved India in several tough situations and scored good runs without caring about his personal milestones.
Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting said the setting is perfect for the young cricketer after performing good in the last two tours against Australia and England.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for young Rishabh, who is coming off successful stints against Australia and England which will no doubt give him the confidence needed to take on a new role that comes with a lot more responsibility,” said Ricky Ponting.