Backup captains for each team in IPL 2020
With the added risk of COVID, all the teams must have some backup options in the slot of captaincy.
The much-awaited moment is almost round the corner as the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is set to go underway in the United Arab Emirates from 19th September 2020. The COVID pandemic has hit the sporting industry in unimaginable ways, however, it is resurrecting gradually. England Cricket Board’s (ECB) successful conduction of a Test series against West Indies and Pakistan, an ODI series against Ireland, and the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) in West Indies, are heartening examples of cricket’s smooth resumption.
The deteriorating state of affairs in India forced the conduction of the IPL this year to UAE, however, the BCCI made unprecedented arrangements to ensure that the IPL is delayed but not cancelled. As the marquee event inches towards its commencement, there are issues that all the franchises will need to be wary of. Despite all the arrangements and safeguards meant to secure the health and safety of players and other stakeholders, the odd chance of the contraction with the virus cannot be overruled.
The pathogen seems to be a lover of equality and it does not distinguish on the basis of color, caste, sex, race, or from a cricketing perspective, the role players perform for their respective teams. Hence, a batsman is as vulnerable as a bowler; spinner as much as a pacer, and vice-captain as much as a captain. However, there are protocols in place for the situation of a player falling ill in the middle of the tournament and the replacements to be made thereof as well.
The cause of being ruled out from a match is of course not limited to coronavirus but even injuries or niggles. A batsman or a bowler being unavailable certainly adds to the headache of the team, but the headache gets much painful when the leader, the captain of a team becomes unavailable. With the added risk of COVID, all the teams must have some backup options in the slot of captaincy.
Why not take a look at the possible backups in case the designated skipper misses out? Here we go-
1. Delhi Capitals- Ajinkya Rahane
Delhi Capitals (formerly Delhi Daredevils) have had a rather unstable slot of captains and they have been captained by as many as 10 players in their IPL journey: Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Mahela Jayawardene, Kevin Pietersen, David Warner, JP Duminy, Dinesh Karthik, James Hopes, Zaheer Khan, and the incumbent skipper Shreyas Iyer.
Iyer proved his mettle as a captain and ended Delhi’s playoff drought running since 2012 in the last edition. He is a supremely confident and talented batsman who has also established a bit of name in the Indian middle-order. In 24 matches as a skipper in IPL, Iyer has won 14 and lost 10.
In his absence, the possible options for the double Ds could be Shikhar Dhawan, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Ajinkya Rahane. Though none of them have a great record as captains, given Rahane’s experience as India’s vice-captain and Rajasthan Royals’ former captain, he should be the ideal choice. In 25 matches as captain, Rahane has won 9 and lost 16.