Delhi Capitals had a memorable campaign last season as they qualified for their first-ever Indian Premier League (IPL) final but lost to Mumbai Indians in the summit clash. While the Delhi-based franchise was gearing up to cross the final hurdle in IPL 2021, they suffered a massive blow with their skipper Shreyas Iyer getting ruled out of the entire season due to a shoulder injury. Although Rishabh Pant has been handed over the leadership role, DC still need Iyer’s replacement in the batting order. The side, nevertheless, has two potential candidates for the spot in Steve Smith and Ajinkya Rahane. DC Likely Playing XI in IPL 2021: Check Out Delhi Capitals’ Predicted First Choice Line-Up for Indian Premier League Season 14.

Iyer, batting at number three, has been a cornerstone of the Delhi Capitals’ line-up in the past few years. The versatile right-handed batsman played the anchor role alongside taking the bowlers to cleaners. Hence, assuming his role wouldn’t be easy for anyone. Fortunately, the team management has a pleasant headache of choosing either Rahane or Smith. IPL 2021 Schedule in PDF for Free Download: Get Indian Premier League 14 Venues, Full Time Table, Fixtures and Match Timings in IST.

Ajinkya Rahane Or Steve Smith – Who Should Replace Shreyas Iyer in Delhi Capitals’ Batting Order

When it comes to T20 cricket, the majority will choose Smith over Rahane especially for a slot in the middle order. The former Rajasthan Royals captain has been batting at number three in IPL in the past few years, and his numbers are impressive as well. At the same time, Rahane, who has been an opener in most of his IPL career, played at number three for DC last season and didn’t have a great time.

All these factors make Smith a better option for the number three slot. However, one must not forget that Smith is an Australian and would occupy one of the four foreign player’s slot in the line-up. This factor might work in Rahane’s favour as DC are studded with many match-winning foreign players.

Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmyer, Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada were Delhi’s first-choice overseas players last season. Stoinis and Hetmyer were providing final flourishes regularly while the South African pace duo breathed fire with the white ball the whole season. Hence, none of them is likely to make way for Smith in the initial line-up, especially with the Aussie star enduring a poor campaign with Rajasthan last season. Moreover, DC also have England all-rounders Chris Woakes and Tom Curran in the ranks, who would be waiting for their chance to come.

Hence, Ajinkya Rahane might get a nod ahead of Smith at least in the initial line-up. However, the Indian Test vice-captain will be on his toes with someone like Smith warming the benches. Meanwhile, DC will kick-start their IPL 2021 campaign against Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on April 10.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Apr 06, 2021 04:46 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website