How Delhi Capitals is going to fill the Rishabh Pant-sized hole has been one of the biggest questions ahead of the 16th season of the IPL (Indian Premier League). We will get the answer – at least a part of it – on Saturday when Capitals take on Lucknow Super Giants at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Cricket Stadium.
It could be the part-timer Sarfaraz Khan or the newly-recruited specialist Abishek Porel according to coach Ricky Ponting. For this match, Capitals also has to overcome the absence of the South African pace duo of Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi, who are on national duty.
Capitals will have to depend on the Indian seam options, which include Khaleel Ahmed, Chetan Sakariya, Ishant Sharma and Mukesh Kumar, while for spin, there are Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel. When it comes to batting, in skipper David Warner, Prithvi Shaw, the in-form Mitchell Marsh, Rovman Powell, Rilee Rossouw, Phil Salt and Manish Pandey, Capitals could have a problem of plenty.
As for the Lucknow batting, it has to cope with the absence of Quinton de Kock, so there will be more responsibility on the likes of skipper KL Rahul, Deepak Hooda, Nicholas Pooran, Kyle Mayers, Marcus Stoinis and Krunal Pandya. For wickets, the host could look to the likes of Mark Wood, Ravi Bishnoi and Avesh Khan.