Is Shreyas Iyer the best man to lead Delhi Daredevils?
Picking an overseas captain could leave them in a tough spot should he fail. Chris Morris hasn't started in every game and Glenn Maxwell has blown hot and cold. In comparison, Iyer is among the first names on the team sheet. The only other contender could have been Rishabh Pant, who has captained Delhi in domestic T20s. But Iyer's good form may have tipped the scales in his favour. He's made two belligerent half-centuries in his last two outings, the most recent coming when the rest of the line-up failed in a modest chase against Kings XI.
What does coach Ricky Ponting think of the decision?
"He is a terrific young player. He is a terrific young man. I see a huge future for him in the game. It's my job now, and Gautam's job, and all the players' job, to make Shreyas' job as easy as possible on the field. A big part of coaching is making sure that the captain gets everything he needs to be prepared for the challenge. There is no extra pressure on Shreyas Iyer. We want him to go out and play the way he is playing. He has been playing terrifically well."
What's special about Iyer?
His big-match temperament and self-confidence stand out. Rahul Dravid, who coached him at India A, thinks his ability to "hit the good balls for boundaries" and his constant desire to get on top of the bowlers makes him a special player. He has delivered in crunch moments too, like in the Ranji Trophy final in 2015-16, where he struck a counter-attacking century on a green top. He has also represented India in a handful of ODIs and T20Is since his debut in November 2017.
What has he done in the IPL so far?
The bare numbers read 958 runs in 38 innings, all for Daredevils. A sizable chunk of those - 439 - came over 14 innings in his debut season in 2015, when he won the Emerging Player Award. He has, however, not been able to hit those highs in the last two years, partly due to not having a fixed spot in the batting line-up. He was one among three players - Morris and Pant being the others - that Daredevils retained ahead of the 2018 auction.
Does he come with leadership credentials?
Not much. But in only a little over three years since his first-class debut, Iyer has already become a senior member in Mumbai and in September last year, he led India A in a handful of 50-over fixtures against the visiting New Zealand A side. In February, Iyer captained his Mumbai T20 League franchise Bandra Blasters.
What does the move mean for Daredevils?
Iyer insisted Daredevils could still win this IPL. Whether that happens or not, his aggression, a trait Ponting was renowned for when he was captain, could be the catalyst that heralds a new beginning.