Delhi Capitals have retained the services of their skipper Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw, Axar Patel, and Anrich Nortje for the 2022 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) as all franchises gear up for the IPL players mega auction. Meanwhile, Shreyas Iyer’s non-retention from the list comes as a surprise for the DC fans, as he earlier led the squad to their first IPL final in 2020. Iyer sat out of the team for the first leg of the IPL 2021 due to a shoulder injury, which saw DC handing over the captaincy to Pant. He returned for the second-leg of IPL 2021 in UAE, however, DC went ahead with Pant as the leader.
Going into the auctions, India’s recent Test-debutant Shreyas Iyer will be on the look to captain one of the two new IPL teams set to join the competition next year. As per a report by ESPNcricinfo, four other IPL teams also seek Iyer’s services as a skipper. At the same time, Pant was the first choice for retention by DC, while Iyer followed next. Iyer opted to not get retained and try his luck in the player's auction, which led to Prithvi Shaw’s retention. 22-year-old Shaw has made a huge mark playing alongside international cricketers in the IPL under the guidance of Ricky Ponting and Praveen Amre, and has gone on to become a destructive opener.
The Delhi Capitals then took time to finalize the names of Nortje and Axar in the retention list, as Nortje made the cut ahead of South African teammate Kagiso Rabada, while Axar was chosen ahead of Shikhar Dhawan. Nortje and Rabada were among the top bowlers in the team in 2021, as Rabada was the third-highest wicket-taker for DC with 15 wickets to his name, while Nortje followed him with 12 wickets. However, Nortje’s abilities to pick up early wickets further added to his retention while Rabada finds himself in the auction pool. At the same time, Axar was chosen ahead of Dhawan, citing his ability to contribute both with bat and ball. Axar Patel dismissed 15 batters in the 2021 season, finishing as the team’s second-highest wicket-taker.