Aakash Chopra has expressed his disapproval of Delhi Capitals (DC)’s decision to continue with stand-in captain Rishabh Pant for the second half of IPL 2021, despite Shreyas Iyer’s recovery.
Iyer took up the captaincy job in a difficult phase for the franchise in 2018, rebuilt the team, and led DC to their best-ever finish in 2020 when they lost to the Mumbai Indians in the final. DC had never finished in the runners-up position before. He dislocated his shoulder during an ODI in March and therefore missed the international matches of India of the season.
Aakash Chopra suggested it wasn’t fair on Iyer not to regain his leadership position just because Rishabh Pant was doing well in international cricket. He explained his point,” Rishabh Pant is the captain. It’s OK but personally, I didn’t like that decision. You decide on one captain, appoint him, he stays with you for 2-3 years, takes the team to the final, he gets injured, you bring in a stand-in captain and then you say let’s stay with the stand-in; ‘Because he’s doing well in international cricket, Shreyas, you can wait’.
“Ideally that’s not the right thing to do but it is what it is,” Chopra opined in one of the videos on his YouTube channel.
The cricketer-turned-commentator also pointed out that DC – who are the table-toppers in IPL 2021 so far – need just two more wins to qualify in the top four for the third consecutive time, which, according to him, will surely happen.
He elaborated,”In their last IPL in the UAE, they were brilliant. They were one of the first teams to qualify. Yes, they lost to MI four times but reached the finals which was their best season. Can they get better than that? They just have to win two matches and they’ll qualify so there’s no doubt this team will reach the final four.”
DC will start their UAE campaign on September 22 in Dubai with a match against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Aakash Chopra’s Playing Eleven for DC
Later in the video, Aakash Chopra predicted his playing XI for DC. The lineup looked quite similar to the 2020 edition with a strong Indian batting order, a lower order of Marcus Stoinis and Shimron Hetmyer and the return of the South African pace duo of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje.
Aakash Chopra’s XI: Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (C & WK), Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetymer, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje and Avesh Khan.