Rishabh Pant to Remain Captain of Delhi Capitals in IPL 2021
By Tanushka Gain
on Fri Sep 17 2021
Rishabh Pant will continue to captain Delhi Capitals for the rest of the 2021 season despite regular skipper Shreyas Iyer making a comeback from a shoulder injury.
Rishabh Pant was named captain after he refused to remove Iyer’s shoulder during India duty in March. The injury was expected to keep him out of the entire IPL 2021, but then Covid-19 intervened and forced him to suspend the season mid-season in early May.
The Capitals confirmed the development in a statement on Thursday evening, three days after the 2021 edition of the tournament in the UAE resumed. At the time of Rishabh Pant’s promotion from vice-captain to captain, he had no previous experience of captaining in the IPL. Nevertheless, the Capitals finished the India leg of the tournament at the top of the points table, with six wins from eight matches.
Head coach Ricky Ponting had said earlier in the day. That it was important for the team to start fresh in the UAE. “It doesn’t matter what we did in the first half of the season. It’s been four months since we played really good cricket. So we really have to start again.
“Our performance in the first half of the tournament was because of how well we played and how hard we worked, but I don’t think we played our best cricket [so far].”
Ponting said Iyer’s return has boosted the team a lot. “He has an infectious attitude. I’ve been talking to him a lot and his training has been great. He’s very eager to get back on the field, score runs and take wins. He’s a world-class player and he’s an extra It’s on. It’s going to mean a lot to our team, no doubt about it.”
Iyer took over the captaincy in the middle of IPL 2018. When Gautam Gambhir’s charge of Delhi Daredevils was terminated due to poor form. At that time, both Iyer and Rishabh Pant were in contention to be made the captain. Before Iyer, then 23 had taken charge. He led the team to the playoffs in 2019 and the final in 2020, which they lost to Mumbai Indians. Iyer was instrumental with the bat in 2020 as well, finishing fourth on the batting charts.
Incidentally, Pant was also 23 when he was appointed captain. Becoming the fifth youngest captain of the IPL after Virat Kohli, Steven Smith, Suresh Raina and Iyer.
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