3 DC players who will have much more responsibility in Rishabh Pant's absence during IPL 2023

David Warner Sydney Thunder Media Opportunity
David Warner Sydney Thunder Media Opportunity

With ₹19.45 crore in their purse and only five slots to fill, the Delhi Capitals (DC) were in an excellent position ahead of the 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL) auction. Since then, though, things have gone completely haywire.

DC had a terrible auction in which they signed only Phil Salt, Ishant Sharma, Mukesh Kumar, Rilee Rossouw and Manish Pandey. None of their signings are guaranteed to be part of the playing XI, and to make matters worse, captain Rishabh Pant won't be available for IPL 2023.

Pant's absence will leave a massive hole in the DC line-up, one they will struggle to fill. If a few key players step up, however, that task could become considerably easier.

Here are three DC players who will have much more responsibility in Rishabh Pant's absence in IPL 2023.

#3 Sarfaraz Khan

Sarfaraz Khan was bought by DC at INR 20 lakhs.You expected a bit more than that.

Sarfaraz Khan has been in the news for his unfair non-selection in the Indian Test team. He's bound to be called up to the national red-ball side at some point in the near future, and he could have an important role to play in the shortest format as well.

DC are without their first-choice keeper in Pant, and fitting Phil Salt into the playing XI without harming the team combination significantly will be a task. Sarfaraz, with his part-time wicket-keeping, could swoop in and save the day, unless the Capitals somehow manage to sign a quality domestic gloveman from the unsold auction pool.

Sarfaraz's keeping is arguably not good enough for Delhi's home ground, which has always been a tricky surface. But he has time, and if he manages to reach a state where he can don the gloves for the side, DC will be extremely grateful.

#2 David Warner

BBL - Sydney Thunder v Melbourne Renegades
BBL - Sydney Thunder v Melbourne Renegades

Who will be appointed DC captain for IPL 2023? They have a few options in David Warner, Prithvi Shaw and Rovman Powell, all of whom have led teams in the past. Even the likes of Axar Patel have been discussed as potential choices.

As an IPL-winning skipper with extensive experience, Warner should be ahead of the others. He could forge an excellent understanding with head coach Ricky Ponting and lead the team from the front with his explosive displays at the top of the order.

Moreover, with Warner being a left-hander, he could be required to bat through the innings and take on positive match-ups. Without Pant, DC's middle order is packed with right-handers and could run into trouble against certain oppositions. It's unreasonable to expect Warner to always be there for the middle overs, though...

#1 Axar Patel

India v Australia - T20 International Series: Game 3
India v Australia - T20 International Series: Game 3

Axar Patel had the second-most prolific season with the bat in his IPL career last year. He amassed 182 runs in 13 matches, with both his average of 45.5 and his strike rate of 151.67 being the highest they've ever been in a campaign.

Axar's batting has grown leaps and bounds of late, and the same has been reflected in international cricket as well. He has always been a good spin-hitter and his game against pace, particularly against hard lengths, is getting better by the day.

The time might be ripe for Axar to bat higher in the DC lineup and contribute more to the side. The Capitals need another left-hander in the top six, and the all-rounder is one of their only chances at salvation. He could be one of the franchise's most important players in IPL 2023.

Get IPL 2023 Live Score along with Points Table & Schedule Updates at Sportskeeda.

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Edited by Sai Krishna
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