The Delhi Capitals are making some last-minute adjustments to their squad ahead of IPL 2023, with the latest news being the potential signing of Abishek Porel from Bengal.
Bengal wicketkeeper-batter has been chosen as the replacement for injured Rishabh Pant. Pant suffered injuries in a road accident on New Year’s Eve and is still recovering, leaving a void to be filled in the team. This is where Porel’s selection comes in.
The team’s coaching group, led by director of cricket Sourav Ganguly and head coach Ricky Ponting, monitored Porel and three other uncapped wicketkeepers, namely Sheldon Jackson, Luvnith Sisodia, and Vivek Singh, during a week-long preparatory camp in New Delhi.
Each player showed impressive skills, but Porel stood out nonetheless.
Porel made his first-class debut against Baroda in February 2022 and has a half-century in List-A cricket. During the week-long preparatory camp in New Delhi, Porel showed an impressive performance.
Before the camp, Porel has scored six half-centuries in 16 First-Class games, apart from effecting 66 dismissals with the gloves.
While Porel has shown his potential with his glove work, he has yet to prove himself with the bat, having only scored 22 runs in his three outings in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
It’s not clear yet whether Porel will be the primary replacement for the injured Rishabh Pant, as the franchise is also considering Sarfaraz Khan and Phil Salt.
Sarfaraz has been in prime form with the bat over the past three domestic seasons and has already been asked to be ready for the wicketkeeping role.
Meanwhile, Salt comes with the experience of having played 180 T20s. Salt was also signed for his base price of INR 2 crore at this year’s auction.
Aside from the trio, David Warner, a veteran Australian batter, will captain the Delhi Capitals in Pant’s absence, with Axar Patel serving as vice-captain.
Even though Rishabh Pant won’t be playing for Delhi Capitals, the team has come up with ways to make him feel included. There are plans to display his number on their shirts or caps to show that he is still their leader.
Deliberations so Far
With the Capitals’ top three players set to be David Warner, Prithvi Shaw, and Mitchell Marsh, Salt may likely struggle to fit into his preferred position, which could play to Sarfaraz’s advantage.
The Capitals are also expecting the BCB (Bangladesh Cricket Board) to possibly release Mustafizur Rahman before their first game on April 1. The Ireland T20 series ends on April 1. After that, there is a one-off Test match, but Mustafizur quit the traditional format to prolong his white-ball career.
With the impact player rule coming into play, the Delhi Capitals can use it in many ways to fill the void left by Pant’s absence. The team is expected to make a final decision on Porel and Khan’s roles in the practice games ahead of the IPL 2023 season.
Overall, Delhi Capitals’ fans can be assured that the team is working hard to make sure they have the best possible squad for the upcoming IPL season.