IPL 2021: Rishabh Pant will lead Delhi Capitals in the absence of regular skipper Shreyas Iyer.© BCCI/IPL




Having reached their maiden Indian Premier League (IPL) final last season, Delhi Capitals will look to build on their performances and try and clear the final hurdle this time around. The Capitals were dealt a massive blow even before the season started, with captain Shreyas Iyer suffering a shoulder injury during the ODI series between India and England. However, the setback opened up an opportunity for Rishabh Pant, who has been chosen to lead the team in Iyer’s absence. The wicketkeeper-batsman has been in red hot form for India over the last two months, and his maiden stint as captain in the IPL could not have come at a better time for him.

“Delhi Capitals as a team plays a passionate and fearless brand of cricket, and Rishabh Pant embodies that best,” DC co-owner Parth Jindal had said.

The Capitals will kick off their season against Chennai Super Kings in Mumbai on April 10.

The new faces

DC bought eight new players at the auction as they looked to improve their squad. Steve Smith, for Rs 2.2 crore, was a big bargain for them. They also acquired the services of Sam Billings, Tom Curran and Umesh Yadav along with uncapped Indian players Vishnu Vinod, Lukman Meriwala, M Siddharth and Ripal Patel.

The old guard

The players who helped the Capitals reach the IPL final for the first time were mostly retained. They will be hoping Prithvi Shaw, who was in fine touch in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, can keep up his good form. Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane are the experienced heads in their batting lineup, while Ravichandran Ashwin is also expected to play key roles.

DC also retained the South African duo of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje, who formed a deadly pace attack last season.

Promoted

DC’s journey last year

The Capitals won eight matches to finish just behind Mumbai Indians in the table in IPL 2020. They lost to MI in the first qualifier, but beat SunRisers Hyderabad in the second qualifier to reach the final. However, they were once again defeated by a rampant MI side.

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