Rishabh Pant has been ruled out of the IPL and the Delhi Capitals will be reeling from his loss. The 25-year-old sustained multiple injuries in a car crash last month in Uttarakhand after his vehicle struck a divider and caught fire.
If anything, Pant is unlikely to play any cricket until the latter part of the year, and he is targeting a return to action at the 50-over World Cup in his native India in October.
Pant has been a game-changer with the bat for the Capitals, slotting in at the middle of the order. His aggressive stroke play has seen him fire 2838 runs at an impressive strike rate of 147.97 in 98 IPL outings.
But who will fill the void for Pant at the IPL? We have picked out four potential replacements that could slot in for the influential wicketkeeper.
Arguably one of the most exciting prospects in Indian domestic cricket, Aryan Juyal has come to the fore. In just 28 List-A matches, he has bludgeoned 1026 runs at an average of 41.04. When it comes to T20s, he has posted 285 runs in 14 matches with a strike rate of 121.27.
Although the 21-year-old usually bats at the top of the order, Juyal is very versatile and he could bat further down the list such is the Capitals’ strength in depth in that department. Indeed, with the IPL around the corner, thoughts will quickly turn to who will be crowned champions. Gujarat Titans created history by winning the tournament 12 months ago, but they are unlikely to be fancied this time. Although odds for the IPL have not been released yet, it would not come as a surprise if top betting sites such as Unibet Australia offer shorter odds for the Capitals to triumph.
A proven and adept performer on the Indian domestic stage, Priyam Garg should come into the Capitals’ thinking. In A-list cricket, he has made hay when it comes to scoring runs – he’s hit 1153 runs in 36 matches with a solid strike rate of 91.36.
Although Garg was previously associated with Sunrisers Hyderabad where he struggled to make an impression, he could well reinvent himself at the Capitals if they are prepared to take a gamble on him.
Garg is still without a team for the 2023 season, but if given a chance, he can make mincemeat of top-quality bowling attacks.
Previously part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Luvnith Sisodia was surprisingly sidelined during the IPL auction where there were no takers for him in Kochi.
That said, Sisodia bares similarities with Pant as he is a hard-hitting left-handed batter, and he should be viewed as an investment for the future. The 22-year-old was superb last season for the Hubli Tigers in the Maharaja Trophy, and he could elevate himself to new levels if he were to sign for the Capitals.
Having hit the winning runs for India at the U19 World Cup last year, it was a surprise that Dinesh Bana was overlooked at the IPL auction.
But Bana is a natural talent, who has all types of shots in his locker and he can clear the boundary with consummate ease. Given the Capitals’ desire to find a middle-order batsman, Bana could be a good solution.