In what is turning out to be a whirlwind year for the dashing India batsman, Rishabh Pant was on Tuesday named captain of Delhi Capitals in place of an injured Shreyas Iyer for the upcoming Indian Premier League season beginning on April 9.
Iyer has been ruled out of the IPL after injuring his left shoulder during the recently-concluded India-England ODI series. This will be 23-year-old Pant’s debut as IPL captain. The wicketkeeper-batsman has captained Delhi’s state team in the past. Pant’s first fixture as DC captain will be against MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings on 10 April in Mumbai.
“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,” Pant said.
“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.”
Pant was one of the architects of India’s historic 2-1 Test series win in Australia in January. He then played a big role in India’s 3-1 Test series win against England, scoring 270 runs from six innings, including a century. Pant also returned to India’s white-ball squads against England. After a decent outing in the T20 Internationals, he was in cracking form in the ODI series, hitting 77 and 78 in the two matches he played.
The Delhi Capitals will take on Chennai Super Kings in their first match of the IPL 2021 season, at the Wankhede Stadium, on April 10. The team finished as runners-up in the last edition of the IPL, losing to Mumbai Indians in the final.
Iyer described Pant as the best player to lead the Delhi side.
“When I sustained the shoulder injury, and Delhi Capitals needed a leader for this edition of the IPL, I had no doubt that Rishabh would be the best man for the job,” he said.
“He has all my good wishes to make amazing things happen with our absolutely incredible team. I’m going to miss the team tremendously, and will be cheering for them throughout.”
Here are some reactions to the announcement: