Delhi Capitals on Tuesday appointed Rishabh Pant as their captain for the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) season. With common captain Shreyas Iyer injured, vice-captain Pant will take cost of the franchise that completed runners-up final time period.
The elevation comes after a memorable 4 months for the wicketkeeper-batsman as he turned a match-winner for the Test staff and made a rousing comeback to the Indian limited-overs fold. “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,” Capitals head coach Ricky Pointing mentioned in a press launch.
Despite having confirmed captains Ajinkya Rahane and Steve Smith in their ranks, and a senior professional like Ravichandran Ashwin who led Kings XI Punjab two years in the past, Capitals caught to their youth coverage. The franchise went for a younger captain in Iyer in 2018 and allowed him to develop into the job. They have taken an identical strategy with Pant.
“I see this season as an apprenticeship period for Rishabh. Apart from Ajinkya, Smith and Ashwin, they (Capitals) have Shikhar (Dhawan) as well. If all of them help him out, I don’t see why Delhi Capitals can’t do well,” Delhi Ranji staff coach KP Bhaskar, who was instrumental in appointing Pant because the Ranji captain in 2017-18, advised The Indian Express.
“He shouldn’t get bogged down and go into a shell with all these big stars around. This is where his quality of leadership will come forward. Now that he has done so well for India, the confidence boost that he has now, he will have things under control,” Bhaskar opined.
A dream come true second for @RishabhPant17 🥺
— Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) March 30, 2021
In 2017-18, when Pant was simply 20, he led Delhi to the Ranji Trophy closing. Bhaskar recalled the choice handy over the captaincy to the teen. “Probably when he took over Delhi, he was raw. But he has matured over the years. He was made captain with a long-term vision.”
What are the bins that Pant ticks as captain? “Being a wicketkeeper, he has a close watch on what is happening all around the field. He has got this aggressive nature in batting, but deep inside he is a very cool guy. That helps,” Bhaskar noticed.
The 23-year-old went to Australia final November because the back-up Test ‘keeper and not a part of India’s restricted overs set-up. “After the IPL (last year) he came on with a lot of baggage. He worked his backside off to lose it. He has trained harder than anyone else in the last two months. And the results are not just for him to see, they’re for the world to see. You have a naturally brilliant match-winner of his ability playing to potential, there’s no greater sight in cricket,” India head coach Ravi Shastri mentioned after the Test sequence towards England.