Delhi Capitals lost their captain well before the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) started but it is this very factor that makes them arguably the most intriguing team going into the new season.
Shreyas Iyer's replacement as skipper of the team this year will be 23-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, who couldn't make much of an impression last season, but has put up career-defining performances since then for India team.
Pant struggled to find consistency in IPL 2020, scoring 343 runs in 14 matches with just one half-century. He also missed a few matches due to injury.
Pant was dropped from the subsequent limited-overs tour of Australia but then turned it around in India's 2-1 Test series win. Impressive performances followed during the series against England and it has culminated in him becoming captain of the franchise.
Iyer's absence does leave a hole for DC in batting and puts more pressure on the top order to perform. This brings into focus Prithvi Shaw, who, unlike Pant, was dropped from the team after a string of failures last season and lost his place in the Indian setup as well due to his struggles with the bat.
The opener has since plundered a record 827 runs in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and DC would be hoping that he would carry forward his good form into the IPL.
He would be opening the batting with Shikhar Dhawan, who would be hungry to prove his worth in the shortest format of the game ahead of the T20 World Cup. DC have bought Steve Smith.