File image of Rishabh Pant
Delhi Capitals on March 30 announced wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant as the new team captain for the upcoming Indian Premiere League (IPL) 2021. The incumbent skipper, Shreyas Iyer, has been ruled out of the entire tournament due to an injury.
Iyer, whose leadership was hailed after Delhi Capitals made its maiden entry into the IPL finals last year, suffered a shoulder injury during the first India vs England ODI played on March 23.
Considering the severity of the injury, Iyer has now been ruled out of the entire IPL season. According to reports, the leading Indian batsman may require four to five months to recover.
"Under Shreyas’ captaincy, our team reached newer heights, and he is going to be missed immensely. In his absence, the franchise has collectively picked Rishabh to lead the team this year," Delhi Capitals Chairman and co-owner Kiran Kumar Grandhi said.
The 23-year-old Pant would be leading an IPL side for the first time in his career so far. According to Iyer, he was the ideal candidate to replace him as the team's skipper.
“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," Iyer said.
Pant, while reacting to the team management's decision, said it was his dream to lead the Delhi side. "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," he said.
Team coach Ricky Ponting said Pant's recent success in the Indian tour of Australia provides him the confidence to lead the Delhi team in the IPL.
"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," he said.
Notably, the upcoming edition of IPL begins from April 9, and will continue till May 30. The Delhi Capitals will play their first match on April 10, against the Chennai Super Kings.