Rishabh Pant has been named Delhi’s captain for the Vijay Hazare domestic 50-overs tournament that begins on February 25. Pant, 19, takes over from Gautam Gambhir, who led Delhi to the final last season. Delhi coach KP Bhaskar said it was a “consensus decision” to blood Pant for the future.
“The selectors are looking at the future and they think Rishabh is the right choice,” Bhaskar told ESPNcricinfo. “They were thinking that there are four-five seniors in the team who can groom him. All the seniors – Gambhir, Shikhar Dhawan, Ashish Nehra and Ishant Sharma – are there, and this is the right opportunity, so looking forward to the future.”
Bhaskar also said the decision was made with a view to reducing Gambhir’s workload. “We think Gambhir still has a lot of cricket left in him, so let him concentrate on his batting and get runs for us. Let him have a free mind.”
Pant has had a breakout season in 2016-17 that saw him finish as the fourth-highest run-getter (972 from eight matches at an average of 81.00 and a strike-rate of 107.28) in the Ranji Trophy. Pant also earned his maiden international call-up for the T20I series against England and made his debut in the final game in Bangalore.
Excerpts from ESPNcricinfo | Arun Venugopal