Pant comeback headlines DC bid for redemption

IPL 2024

Pant will be leading DC this season.


Rishabh Pant is back.

His journey from the car wreckage to IPL embodies a greater victory for life than cricket can make sense of, but the sport will take what it can. The game has one of its generational keeper-batters back in the fold and having first rights to him is his IPL franchise Delhi Capitals.

Pant's comeback is pretty much the story of the season for Delhi, who would be looking for their own redemption arc after a pretty cold last season. To them, it ultimately may not matter how many runs Pant scores or if-and-when he keeps wickets; that he is there leading them out on the field should be enough for a side that looked a bit lost without him last year.

Where they've finished in this cycle: 2022: 5th, 2023: 9th

Key additions: Tristan Stubbs, Kumar Kushagra, Jhye Richardson, Jake Fraser-McGurk (replacement for Lungi Ngidi)

Key subtractions: Rilee Rossouw, Chetan Sakariya, Rovman Powell, Manish Pandey, Phil Salt, Mustafizur Rahman, Sarfaraz Khan

Full Squad: Rishabh Pant (c), David Warner, Prithvi Shaw, Yash Dhull, Abishek Porel, Axar Patel, Lalit Yadav, Mitchell Marsh, Pravin Dubey, Vicky Ostwal, Anrich Nortje, Kuldeep Yadav, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Khaleel Ahmed, Ishant Sharma, Mukesh Kumar, Tristan Stubbs, Ricky Bhui, Kumar Kushagra, Rasikh Dar, Jhye Richardson, Sumit Kumar, Swastik Chikara, Shai Hope

One stat from last year they'll want to remedy

In IPL 2023, Delhi Capitals' batters managed only 67 sixes between them across 14 matches. That in a season which saw a record number of sixes hit (1124). As many as 7.6 sixes were hit per innings on an average but DC only managed to hit 4.8 sixes per innings.

One to watch:

When you are able to take your eyes off Pant, do watch out for Kumar Kushagra, a hard-hitting wicketkeeper-batter from Jharkhand who had three teams going hard for him at the auction. He was eventually bought for INR 7.2 crore and could get a go this season, especially if Delhi decide to ease Pant into cricket and not burden him with wicketkeeping right away.

Injuries and availability:

Harry Brook, the big budget buy for DC in the auction, will no longer be available to them this season. The England batter lost his grandmother recently and missed the five-Test tour of India as a result, and he continues to take time off cricket for personal reasons.

Lungi Ngidi will miss the season with a lower back injury.

Anrich Nortje's arrival date is a bit foggy because he is awaiting the birth of his child, but even otherwise, there are doubts around when he will be ready for the IPL grind. After all, he has just made a comeback in CSA's domestic T20 league after a long time on the sidelines.

Possible XI and potential Impact Player tactic:

Prithvi Shaw, David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Rishabh Pant (c), Tristan Stubbs (wk), Kumar Kushagra, Axar Patel, Lalit Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Mukesh Kumar, Anrich Nortje

Khaleel Ahmed can come in for Prithvi Shaw as the Impact Player when Delhi are bowling.