Bengal wicketkeeper-batter Abishek Porel is all set to be the injured Rishabh Pant’s replacement at Delhi Capitals in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 season starting on Friday.
DC has been fretting about an Indian replacement for Pant, who met with a horrific car accident late last year and was ruled out of competitive cricket for at least one year.
“The DC are likely to put forth Abishek Porel’s name as Rishabh’s replacement for the current season. He is only 21 and under the guidance of Ricky Ponting and Sourav Ganguly, could be groomed as a second option even after Rishabh comes back,” an IPL source tracking the developments told PTI on the condition of anonymity.
However, maverick Mumbai man Sarfaraz Khan will be the Capitals’ No.1 keeper-batter for at least the first few games, as it is unlikely that Phil Salt will be used from the onset.
“As of now, it looks like Sarfaraz will start against Lucknow Super Giants and if the experiment works, then he will continue,” the source said.
The problem with Salt could be his batting on a Kotla track which is not conducive for strokeplay. The ball would not come on to the bat easily and he is likely to find it difficult against quality spinners.
Delhi Capitals, during its first camp in Kolkata, had summoned Bengal’s Porel, Karnataka’s Luvnith Sisodia and Saurashtra’s domestic giant Sheldon Jackson for the trials but it was undecided.
In Delhi, it also included Barinder Vivek Singh, currently Railways’ second keeper after Upendra Yadav and a hard-hitting left-hander, who boasts of a century in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
Sisodia did have his moments but it is understood that Porel has impressed both Ponting and Ganguly during the trial games.
Porel has so far scored six half-centuries in 16 First-Class games, apart from effecting 66 dismissals with the gloves. He has only played three domestic matches, but DC still decided to invest in him.
Meanwhile, with Bangladesh taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in the ongoing three-match series against Ireland, DC is expecting that the BCB (Bangladesh Cricket Board) might just release Mustafizur Rahman before its first game on April 1.
The Ireland T20 series ends on April 1, and after that, there is a one-off Test match, but Mustafizur quit the traditional format to prolong his white-ball career.
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