With 12 points in eight games and a second spot in the IPL 2021 points table, Delhi Capitals have left the tag of underachievers they carried for long as Delhi Daredevils. With plenty of Indian and foreign players among their ranks, which included grooming of current Indian national team players, Capitals look like a side who want to do one better than their runners-up medal last year.
However, things never come easy than said and DC learnt that the hard way with their captain Shreyas Iyer getting ruled out of the first phase of the season with injury concerns. The franchise, coached by Ricky Ponting, decided to show fate in a young Rishabh Pant as their captain while overlooking senior names such as Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Steve Smith, R Ashwin among others.
And when the results are there for everyone to see, it's self-explanatory as to why the capital outfit decided to carry on with Pant as their captain for the remainder of the series despite Iyer making a return for the second phase of IPL.
Pant's clout as an Indian cricketer has amplified since his historic knock against Australia at the GABBA earlier this year and has settled himself as the true successor of MS Dhoni behind the stumps.
And make no mistake, he didn't take the responsibility of an IPL captain for granted as the 23-year-old since taking charge smashed two fifties and amassed 213 runs in eight games at an average of 35.50 while batting in the middle-order.
The performance is a stark contrast to his 2020 performance when he scored 343 runs in 14 games while going past 50 just once. He faced the ire of the media and fans on a regular basis for not bringing enough consistency in his game while a spot in the limited format of the Indian team was out of the question.
Fast forward a year, Pant 2.0 is a man who doesn't look to hit every ball thrown at him and instead adjusts his game as per the demand of the game.
His decision-making as a leader was also competent and didn't hesitate to take advice from the riches of experienced seniors around him. A look at the wins of the franchise this season paints a further impressive picture of him as a captain with one-sided victories against defending champions Mumbai Indians, Punjab Kings among others; all this grooming him perfectly to be a future leader of bigger things to come.