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Former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin believes wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant is a front-runner for the position of national team captain in the coming years. Pant was named captain of the Delhi Capitals for the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League on Tuesday (IPL). Because regular skipper Shreyas Iyer injured his left shoulder during the recently concluded India-England ODI series, the wicket-keeper batsman will take over as captain for the 14th edition of the tournament.

On Wednesday, Azharuddin, who played 334 One-Day Internationals and 99 Tests for India, said he wouldn’t be surprised if selectors consider Pant for the Indian captaincy in the near future.

“Rishabh Pant has had such fabulous few months, establishing himself in all formats. It won’t come as a surprise if the selectors see him as a front-runner fr Indian captaincy in near future. His attacking cricket will stand India in good stead in times to come,” Azharuddin tweeted.

Coach Ricky Ponting of the Delhi Capitals believes Pant will improve as a captain. Pant, according to the former Australia captain, “deserves” to lead the franchise based on his recent performances.

“@RishabhPant17 grab his opportunity. It’s well deserved for his recent performances and he’s coming in with a lot of confidence. I’m convinced captaincy will make him an even better player,” Ponting tweeted.

On his new role, Pant in a statement said, “Delhi is where I grew up, and where my IPL journey began six years ago. To lead this team one day is a dream I’ve always harboured. And today, as that dream comes true, I feel humbled. I am truly grateful, especially to our team owners, who considered me capable enough for this role. With an amazing coaching staff, and a plethora of accomplished seniors around me, I can’t wait to give my absolute best for Delhi Capitals.”

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On April 10, the Delhi Capitals will kick off their IPL 2021 campaign against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

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