Rishabh Pant
Rishabh PantIANS (File photo)

IPL: Rishabh Pant to lead Delhi Capitals in Shreyas Iyer's absence

New Delhi, March 30, 2020

India wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant will lead Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 in place of the injured Shreyas Iyer, the franchise confirmed in a statement on Tuesday.

Iyer, who led Delhi Capitals to the final of the IPL 2020 season, had dislocated his left shoulder during the recently-concluded ODI series between India and England.

Delhi Capitals' head coach Ricky Ponting said that the recent successes against Australia and England will give Rishabh Pant the confidence to lead the side.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for the 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. The coaching group is excited to work with him, and we can't wait for the season to get started," said Ponting, the former Australia skipper and talismanic batsman.

Pant had, in the recent past, cemented his place as India's all-format wicketkeeper-batsman. He played a key role in helping India win the Test series in Australia and at home against England. His 97 on the fifth day of the third Test in Sydney helped India earn a draw and then his 89 not out on the fifth and final day of the fourth and final Test in Brisbane helped India achieve a historic Test and series win.

He also made 101 in the fourth and final Test against England in Ahmedabad earlier this month to turn the game around for India.

Based on his match-turning and vintage knocks in Test matches, he was picked for the two white-ball series against England where too he excelled. He made quickfire scores of 70-odd in the last two ODIs.

On his new role, Pant said, "Delhi is where I grew up, and where my IPL journey began six years ago. To lead this team is a dream I've always harboured. And today, as that dream comes true, I feel humbled. I can't wait to give my absolute best for Delhi Capitals."

Iyer, who led Delhi Capitals to the final of IPL 2020, had hurt his left shoulder during the recently-concluded ODI series between India and England. The right-handed batsman dislocated his shoulder in the first One-day International that India won by 66 runs.

He said he had expected Pant to replace him.

"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," said Iyer.


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