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'Money doesn't matter, I am just looking forward to leading DC in the future' - Shreyas Iyer on how he got the captaincy from Gambhir

Shreyas Iyer captained the Delhi Capitals for the first time in IPL 2018 [P/C:]
Shreyas Iyer captained the Delhi Capitals for the first time in IPL 2018 [P/C:]
Kartik Iyer
Modified 03 Dec 2020, 21:37 IST

Delhi Capitals skipper Shreyas Iyer has revealed an interesting anecdote about how he got the captaincy of the franchise midway through IPL 2018.

He made this disclosure during an interaction with Ravichandran Ashwin in the recent edition of the latter's YouTube show 'DRS with Ash'.

Ashwin asked Shreyas Iyer about the conversations in the Delhi Capitals set-up when he took over the captaincy from Gautam Gambhir. The Mumbaikar recalled that he was the third player retained by the franchise that year in the mega-auction, while Gambhir was brought back as the skipper.

"So, that was the first year. The new auction had happened and they had selected Gautam Gambhir as the captain. And they had retained me in the third position."

Shreyas Iyer revealed that he told the franchise that he is not too concerned about the retention money, and that he is looking forward to captaining the team in the future.

"So, when we were negotiating and they were asking me at what price I would like to be retained, I was like - 'See, money doesn't matter at this point of time. I am just looking forward to leading Delhi Capitals in the future.' That is what exactly I had said."

Shreyas Iyer added that he was already envisaging himself in a leadership role, with the experience of captaining the India A team behind him. However, he admitted that he did not expect he would be taking up the job so soon.

"Because I was leading India A at that point of time. And that was my vision. I was already thinking as a captain when I entered the IPL in 2018. And I didn't know that responsibility would be coming to me that year itself."

Shreyas Iyer mentioned that he was mentally prepared to skipper the team and give his best at the job.

"But at the back of my mind, I was really ready that, if an opportunity comes, that I have to grab it with my hands and see to it that I do the best. And exactly that's what happened that year. I don't know what to say. Was it fortunate or an unfortunate decision that they took?"

Shreyas Iyer on the help he received from Ricky Ponting in his new role

Shreyas Iyer has a great working relationship with Ricky Ponting
Shreyas Iyer has a great working relationship with Ricky Ponting

Ashwin also asked Shreyas Iyer about his first interaction with Ricky Ponting after being appointed the Delhi Capitals skipper.

He responded that the Delhi Capitals head coach did not impose any shackles on him and allowed him to play freely.

"Well, I was obviously performing really well that year. And Ricky knew how I was playing right from the start of the season. So, he knew that there are some guys in the team, they really love that freedom to go out there and express themselves naturally."

Shreyas Iyer lauded Ponting for understanding the psyche of every player in the team and managing them accordingly.

"So, his man management skills, I feel, it's really amazing. You know, he understands each and every player very well right from the start. And that's what I respect more about him."

Shreyas Iyer elaborated that the former Aussie skipper made his job easier by shouldering most of the responsibilities of managing the team.

"As soon as I was made the captain, the job was very much easy for me. Because he came to me and he said that I don't have to worry about anything. The team meetings and everything, that would be co-ordinated by him."

Shreyas Iyer signed off by observing that Ponting allowed him to concentrate on his batting while himself managing all the behind-the-scenes activities.

"He asked me to just go out there and back my instincts and that they will be doing all the planning and setting up everything for me. He told me to just be a batsman and not think more about captaincy. That's how we built our relationship, I believe."

The Delhi Capitals failed to make the IPL playoffs in 2018 after a poor start to their campaign, with Gautam Gambhir stepping down midway through the season.

But they turned their fortunes around in the subsequent two seasons of the league. After reaching the playoffs for the first time in seven years in 2019, they went one step further in IPL 2020 by making their maiden entry into the finals of the tournament.

Published 03 Dec 2020, 21:37 IST
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