Delhi Capitals, formerly known as Delhi Daredevils were one of the strongest squads in the early years of the league. They are also one of the three franchises to not have won a title in the Indian Premier League. The current Delhi Capitals captain is Rishabh Pant, who has been a standout performer for the team for a while.
Let’s have a look at the brief history on Delhi Capitals captain.
In 2008, Delhi team’s rights were bought by the GMR Group for USD 84 million. As every team was given a choice to pick an ‘Icon Player’, the Delhi franchise went for the ‘Nawab of Najafgarh’, Virender Sehwag. One of the most destructive batters in the world took the charge of Delhi and their journey began.
As you would expect with most unsuccessful teams, Delhi have changed their captains like a hot potato over the years. They’ve had 13 captains in 14 seasons of the IPL. The continuous shake ups in the squad is one of the major reasons for their failures. we take a look at all the players who have captained Delhi Capitals in IPL history:
Virender Sehwag (2008-2012)
The Indian legend was chosen as the ‘Icon Player’ by Delhi Capitals and led the side in their early years. Sehwag had a pretty solid team to work with yet he couldn’t win them a title.
Despite no title, Sehwag’s Delhi Capitals were one of the top performing sides in the IPL. They reached the top 4 in IPL 2008 but lost in the semifinals to Rajasthan Royals. Next year, they topped the points table but lost to Deccan Chargers in the semifinals.
In IPL 2011, Delhi Capitals finished at the bottom of the table but made a great comeback next year to top the points table. But they again faltered in the knockouts, losing both Qualifier 1 and 2. Sehwag’s association with Delhi Capitals ended after this season.
Under Sehwag’s leadership, Delhi played 52 matches, winning 28 and losing 24 of those. As a batsman, Sehwag left no stone unturned for Delhi Capitals, scoring 1879 runs averaging 30.3 with an astonishing strike rate of 167.3.
Gautam Gambhir (2009-2018)
Delhi Capitals acquired the services of Gautam Gambhir in the first auction in 2008 for USD 725000. After his terrific batting performance, Gambhir was promoted as the Delhi Capitals captain in IPL 2010.
Delhi narrowly missed out on the top 4 finish in IPL 2010, after which Gambhir was released ahead of the mega auction. The southpaw returned to his original franchise in IPL 2018 and was appointed as the skipper after his success with Kolkata Knight Riders. Unfortunately he couldn’t repeat that success and stepped down from captaincy midway through the season.
Gambhir led Delhi Capitals in 25 games out of which, they won 12 and lost 13. Gambhir, the batsman, scored 1182 runs, averaging 29.6 with a strike rate of 123.
Dinesh Karthik (2010-2014)
Dinesh Karthik, who was an important part of Delhi Capitals in the early years, was brought back into the side in 2014 for a whopping sum of Rs. 12.5 crores.
Karthik got to lead the side in only six games across the seasons, winning two and losing four of those. As a batter, he scored over 1000 runs for DC.
James Hopes (2011)
Australian all-rounder, James Hopes was brought into the Delhi side for a price tag of Rs. 1.61 crores in IPL 2011. Hopes led the team in three matches in the absence of regular skipper Virender Sehwag. Delhi Capitals lost two out of those games and one ended in a no result.
Mahela Jayawardene (2012-2013)
The then Sri Lanka captain, Mahela Jayawardene fetched a huge amount in the 2012 auction, eventually bought by Delhi Capitals for USD 1.4 million. Jayawardene was named as the full-time skipper in IPL 2013 but Delhi Capitals finished at the bottom of the table. Under his leadership, Delhi played 18 matches, winning only 6 and losing 11.
Ross Taylor (2012)
The New Zealand batter was traded to Delhi Capitals from Rajasthan Royals ahead of the 2012 edition. Ross Taylor led the side in the absence of the regular skipper, Sehwag. In the two matches DC played under Taylor, they lost one and another ended in no result.
David Warner (2013)
After a spectacular debut for Australia in T20Is, David Warner was picked by the Delhi franchise in the 2009 auction and was part of the team for four years.
Warner, who scored 1435 for Delhi Capitals averaging 28.7 with a strike rate of 133.1, only led the side in two matches which they lost. After 2013, Delhi released Warner despite having made a name for himself as one of the most destructive batters in the world.
Kevin Pietersen (2014)
In an attempt to completely revamp their squad, Delhi Capitals did not retain a single player in the 2014 mega auction. They brought in Kevin Pietersen for a massive sum of USD 1.5 million and appointed him as the skipper.
After missing the first three games due to injury, Pietersen made his return but could not change DC’s fortunes as they finished with a wooden spoon. Under his leadership, Delhi lost 10 out 11 matches and Pietersen failed as a batsman too.
JP Duminy (2015-2016)
South African Jean Paul Duminy was one of the most consistent players in early years and was a part of Delhi Capitals for a few seasons. He was preferred as the skipper in the 2015 edition after another squad overhaul.
However, Delhi’s fortunes didn’t change much as they finished seventh in IPL 2015. Under Duminy’s captaincy, Delhi played 16 matches, winning six and losing nine. As a player, Duminy was outstanding for DC, scoring 1015 runs averaging 44.1 with a strike rate of 130.8.
Zaheer Khan (2016-2017)
The veteran Indian pacer was bagged by Delhi Capitals in the 2015 auction for Rs. 4 crores. Zaheer Khan was appointed as the skipper for the 2016 edition.
Zaheer had a mixed season as Delhi won seven games but missed the top 4 spot by a narrow margin. In 2017 Delhi’s bad run continued as they failed to make the playoffs again. Zaheer Khan led Delhi Capitals in 23 matches, winning 10 and losing 13.
Karun Nair (2017)
Karun Nair, who showed immense promise in his early years, was picked by Delhi Capitals in the 2016 auction for Rs. 4 crores. With Zaheer Khan’s fitness issues, Nair got the opportunity to lead the side in three matches in 2017, out of which, they won two and lost one.
Shreyas Iyer (2018-2020)
The promising lad from Mumbai was picked by Delhi Capitals for Rs. 2.6 crores in the 2015 auction. He started his IPL career with a bang, scoring 439 runs in his first season. Iyer had an awful IPL 2016 but made a great comeback the following year. On the back of that performance, he was appointed as the Delhi Capitals captain in 2018 after Gambhir stepped down.
Iyer’s captaincy coupled with Ricky Ponting’s coaching brought a new dawn for the Delhi franchise as they reached the playoffs in 2019 for the first time in seven years. They went one step further in IPL 2020, making their first ever IPL final appearance.
Iyer has led DC in 41 matches, winning 21 and losing 18 of those. As a player, Iyer has been one of the top players of Delhi in recent years, scoring 2200 runs at an average of 31.4.
Rishabh Pant (2021-present)
One of the best talents in the country, Rishabh Pant was picked by Delhi Capitals in the 2016 auction for Rs. 1.9 crores and since then has become their most valuable player. Shreyas Iyer suffered an injury ahead of the 2021 season which ruled him out, opening a vacancy for captain’s job at DC.
After becoming the fan favourite, courtesy of his match winning knocks on the Australia tour, Pant was an outright choice for the captaincy. Delhi had an outstanding season under Pant with six wins out of eight, before the season was postponed. He was adjudged the Delhi Capitals captain.
As a player, Rishabh Pant has amassed 2292 runs for Delhi Capitals averaging 35.2 at a sublime strike rate of 149.7.