Delhi Capitals captain: Wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant will become the 13th player to lead Delhi Capitals in the IPL.
Hard-hitting wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant is all set to become the 13th player to lead Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League. It was only earlier this week that Pant was handed the captaincy after regular captain Shreyas Iyer was ruled out of IPL 2021 due to a shoulder injury.
In what will be Pant’s sixth season at Capitals, he has so far amassed 2,079 runs in 68 IPL innings at an average and strike rate of 35.24 and 151.97 respectively. With Capitals’ team management preferring him over several other more experienced players, 23-year old Pant will also become the fifth-youngest captain (after Virat Kohli, Steven Smith, Suresh Raina and Iyer) in the IPL.
At Capitals, Pant will follow the legacy of former Indian legends such as Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Zaheer Khan as far leading the franchise is concerned.
Humbled at the opportunity to lead the franchise I’ve been part of for the past few years! Thank you @RickyPonting , the coaching staff, management, my teammates and the fans for your faith in me. @DelhiCapitals : Let’s do this! #IPL2021 pic.twitter.com/zeais9AGIO
— Rishabh Pant (@RishabhPant17) March 31, 2021
Pant, who will enter IPL 2021 on the back of making a comeback into the Indian team across formats, would be hoping to carry forward his golden run-spree from the highest level to the biggest T20 league starting from April 9.
How many players have been Delhi Capitals captain before Rishabh Pant?
Virender Sehwag (2008-12)
Former India batsman Virender Sehwag, who was selected as the marquee player of Delhi (then Daredevils) in 2008, has led them in the most number of matches (52). Having won 28 and lost 24, Sehwag remains their most successful captain (among players with a minimum of five matches as captain) till date with a win percentage of 53.84%.
Aap hi ko follow kar raha hoon, Viru-Paaji, Learning from the Best! https://t.co/VUxMz1Be9x
— Rishabh Pant (@RishabhPant17) March 5, 2021
Sehwag, who represented Delhi between 2008-2013, scored a total of 2,174 runs in 79 outings for the franchise at an average and strike rate of 29.38 and 160.32 respectively which also included one century and 15 half-centuries.
Gautam Gambhir (2009-18)
Much like Sehwag, his former Indian opening partner in Gautam Gambhir had also represented Delhi in his first three IPL seasons. Gambhir, who returned to the franchise in 2018 for a brief stint, had played most of his IPL cricket at Kolkata Knight Riders.
In 45 matches for Capitals, Gambhir had scored 1,182 runs at an average and strike rate of 28.83 and 122.87 respectively. In 25 matches under Gambhir, Delhi had won 12 and lost 13.
Dinesh Karthik (2010-14)
Out of the many IPL teams that he’s played for, veteran India wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Karthik has represented Capitals in two stints – between 2008-10 and in 2014 – scoring 1,036 runs at 25.27 and 126.50.
Karthik, who had most recently led Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, had commenced his captaincy career in the IPL by leading Delhi in six matches (winning two and losing four) between 2010 and 2014.
James Hopes (2011)
Former Australia all-rounder and current Delhi Capitals fast bowling coach James Hopes had played a lone season for the franchise in 2011. In what was his second and last IPL season after the first one being for Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) in 2008, Hopes had also led the team on three occasions (winning none and losing two).
Mahela Jayawardene (2012-13)
Former Sri Lanka captain and current head coach of defending champions Mumbai Indians Mahela Jayawardene had spent a couple of seasons at Delhi Capitals as a player.
Jayawardene, who had scored 666 runs in 30 innings for DC at 24.67 and 109 respectively, had led the side in 18 matches (winning six and losing 11).
Ross Taylor (2012)
Much like Jayawardene, veteran New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor had also represented Delhi in a couple of seasons scoring 256 runs in 16 innings at 19.69 and 111.30 respectively. It was in IPL 2012 that Taylor had the opportunity of leading Capitals twice.
David Warner (2013)
Australia opening batsman David Warner, who had made his IPL debut under Sehwag for Delhi, had played for the franchise for half-a-decade scoring 1,435 runs in 55 innings at 28.70 and 133.12. It was in his last season at DC that Warner had led the team twice, losing on both the ocassions.
Kevin Pietersen (2014)
Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen, who had scored 599 runs in 19 innings for Delhi at 39.93 and 136.14 across a couple of seasons, had led them in 11 matches in IPL 2014. It is worth mentioning that Delhi had won a solitary match under Pietersen. All in all, Pietersen had led in 17 IPL matches only to win thrice.
JP Duminy (2015-16)
Former South Africa all-rounder Jean-Paul Duminy, who had played three IPL seasons for Delhi, had led them in 16 matches – winning six and losing nine.
In 35 IPL innings for Capitals, Duminy’s 1,015 runs had come at an average and strike rate of 44.13 and 130.80 respectively. Duminy had also picked 13 wickets for the franchise at an economy and strike rate of 7.39 and 26.31 respectively.
Zaheer Khan (2016-17)
Former India fast bowler Zaheer Khan had been given the reigns of Capitals after him hanging his boots at the highest level. Having played for Delhi in IPL 2015, Khan had led them to 10 wins and 13 losses in 2016-17. In 30 T20s for Delhi, Khan’s 27 wickets had come at an average of 29.85, an economy rate of 7.46 and a strike rate of 24.
Karun Nair (2017)
India and Kolkata Knight Riders batsman Karun Nair had also spent a couple of seasons at Capitals scoring 638 runs at 27.74 and 121.99 respectively. Nair, who had made his IPL debut for Royal Challengers in IPL 2013, had led Capitals in three matches in IPL 2017 – winning twice and losing once in the process.
Shreyas Iyer (2018-2020)
I’ve been reading your messages and have been overwhelmed by all the outpouring of love and support. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone. You know what they say, the greater the setback, the stronger the comeback. I shall be back soon ❤️🙏 pic.twitter.com/RjZTBAnTMX
— Shreyas Iyer (@ShreyasIyer15) March 25, 2021
Had it not been for an injury, Iyer would’ve most likely surpassed Sehwag as Delhi’s most successful captain both in terms of matches led and won. Been with the franchise since 2015, Iyer was named the captain when Gambhir stepped down from the position midway through the 2018 season.
Having won 21 and lost 18, Iyer is Capitals’ second-best captain (among players with a minimum of five matches as captain) with a win percentage of 53.65%. Despite being handed the captaincy at a young age, Iyer didn’t let it affect his batting as his 2,200 IPL runs have come at 31.43 and 126.07 respectively and comprise of 16 half-centuries in 79 innings.