In a massive setback, Delhi Capitals captain Shreyas Iyer has been ruled out for the first half of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season due to a dislocated shoulder. The Indian middle-order batsman sustained the injury while fielding during the 8th over of the England innings in the first IND vs ENG ODI match in Pune on Tuesday. The 14th edition of the IPL is scheduled to kickoff with the opening game between defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on April 9 in Chennai.
The Delhi Capitals (DC) will be playing their first IPL 2021 game against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on April 10 in Mumbai. Iyer’s injury is a massive blow for the Delhi Capitals as his superb leadership skills has been a key aspect for the team’s success in the last two IPL seasons. It will be interesting to see who replaces Iyer as the new DC captain in the first half of the forthcoming IPL season.
1. Rishabh Pant
Wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant is surely one of the top contenders to replace Shreyas Iyer as the new DC captain for IPL 2021. Although, Pant had a disappointing last season in the IPL where Delhi Capitals finished as the runners-up, but the swashbuckling batsman has delivered some extraordinary performances in the recent few months for the Indian team across formats. Pant smashed two incredible 4th innings knocks to help India register a memorable 2-1 series win in Australia and then scored a terrific century in the fourth and final Test match against England.
Pant has certainly showed a lot of maturity in both his batting and wicket-keeping in the recent few months. The left-hander will be an excellent option to replace Iyer as the DC captain in IPL 2021.
2. Shikhar Dhawan
It is quite fascinating that a senior Indian cricketer like Shikhar Dhawan hasn’t taken a long-term captaincy role in the IPL barring a short duration leadership role for Sunrisers Hyderabad. Delhi Capitals opener Shikhar Dhawan ended as the second highest run-getter in the last season with a remarkable tally of 618 runs in 17 matches at an explosive strike-rate of 144.73. With his great amount of experience of playing in the IPL, Dhawan could also be a good option to replace Iyer for the captaincy role this year.
Shikhar will have a point to prove in the upcoming season of the IPL as he will want to make a definite case for the ICC T20 World Cup scheduled later this year. The captaincy role could provide that extra motivation to Dhawan.
3. Steve Smith
There were a lot of eyebrows raised when Delhi Capitals bought Steve Smith at a nominal price of INR 2.2 crore in the IPL 2021 auction. However, the former Rajasthan Royals skipper could very well be an excellent captaincy replacement option in the absence of Shreyas Iyer. The right-hander has the experience of leading Australia in pressure tournaments and also captained the Rising Pune Supergiant where they finished as the finalists in IPL 2017.
Smith also has an impressive IPL record with a total of 2333 runs in 95 matches at an average of 35.34. The former Aussie skipper could be the perfect replacement for Iyer in the Delhi Capitals middle-order in the upcoming IPL season.
After nearly two years, India’s blockbuster cricketing carnival will be returning home with Ahmedabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kolkata and Delhi as the hosting venues for IPL 2021. In order to ensure no team gets the home advantage, the BCCI has decided that all eight teams will play only on 4 venues out of the six listed, barring their home ground. However, there is sad news for the fans as VIVO IPL 2021 at home will be played behind closed doors to begin with and a call on allowing spectators will be taken at a later stage of the tournament.
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