IPL 2022 - Delhi Capitals retains Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw, Axar Patel and Anrich Nortje


Delhi Capitals has decided to keep the quartet of Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw, Axar Patel and Anrich Nortje for the IPL 2022. However, former Capitals captain Shreyas Iyer, who made his test debut on Thursday, has chosen to enter the auction instead.

While Capitals could view Iyer's departure as a setback, they wouldn't have been completely surprised by the batsman's decision. After all, they had already invested in a new leader - Pant took charge when Iyer injured his shoulder and unable to play the first leg of the 2021 season.

Now that he's a free agent, Iyer can be bought by either of the two new teams that will be taking part in next year's IPL. ESPNcricinfo believes four of the original eight are also looking for a new captain, so Iyer - who led the Capitals to their first final in 2019 - won't be short of options.

Pant, we learn, was the first name on the Capitals' retention list. Iyer was next in line, but once he shut himself out, his place went to Shaw. The 22-year-old has developed successfully under the guidance of Ricky Ponting and Praveen Amre to become one of the most destructive openers in India.

Capitals had a harder time finalizing Norje and Axar. Nortje, who joined them in 2020, faced stiff competition from his South African teammate Kagiso Rabada. Ultimately, the ability to pick up early wickets - 12 of his 34 strikes came in the first six overs - and an excellent savings rate in the death overs (7.82 vs Rabadas 9.44) made the difference for Nortje.

Axar's fight was against senior Indian thug Shikhar Dhawan, who returned to Capitals in 2019 after being traded by Sunrisers Hyderabad.

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Dhawan made 1726 runs in 49 innings since returning to the franchise with which he made his IPL debut. An average of 39 and a hit rate of 135 mean he's been the Capitals best batter for the last three seasons, but he lost because Axar came up with a better overall package. The left arm spinner has claimed 34 wickets in his last 41 games. Its economy rate of 6.73 is the best among any Capitals player who has thrown at least 50 deliveries since 2019. And he was the joint highest wicket taker during the recent T20I series against New Zealand while conceding just a six.

The IPL had set November 30th as the deadline for the eight existing franchises to keep a maximum of four players. The two newcomers - based in Lucknow and Ahmedabad - could then buy up to three players from the not retained lot by December 25th.

If a team keeps four players, it will lose INR 42 crore from an INR 90 crore purse. The Capitals will thus participate in the auction with INR 48 crore. If the team keeps three players, it is INR 33 crore, INR 24 crore for two players, and INR 14 crore if only one player. A retained player without a cap receives a maximum of INR 4 crore. It is important that the player has the ultimate authority to decide whether to keep or participate in the auction.