IPL 2021: Irfan Pathan credits Shreyas Iyer for putting captaincy talk aside and delivering for DC

Delhi Capitals (DC) batsman Shreyas Iyer played an important knock of unbeaten 47 off 41 deliveries in the first match after returning from an injury helping his team register a comfortable 8-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in their first match of UAE-leg of IPL 2021.

Former India pacer Irfan Pathan lauded the Mumbai-based batsman for focusing on his game and leaving all the captaincy debate aside after Rishabh Pant was retained as DC captain for the second leg of IPL 2021 in UAE as well, despite Iyer being fit and available.

It’s not easy for a guy who has been leading the side, doing well for your franchise, helping them qualify, and then losing his spot as a captain just because he got injured. Now he is playing only as a player. So all credit to Shreyas Iyer for putting that aside and only thinking about performing really well for his franchise. That’s what he can do and that’s what he did today as a player,” Pathan told Star Sports.

Even though the right-hand batsman was picked as a stand-by player in India’s squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021 in UAE and Oman, Pathan believes Iyer scoring runs for DC is not only vital in IPL 2021 but also for India in the future.

I am very keen on seeing more of him because not just in IPL but he is an important player for India going forward. You want him to keep scoring runs and keep himself in the mix of things,” the 36-year-old said.

Pathan then talked about how the Pant’s knock of 35 (21) with 3 boundaries and 2 maximums was crucial after the dismissal of opener Shikhar Dhawan (42) as the Delhi-based franchise registered yet another win to get at the top spot on the points table.

He is showing maturity, which is what you want to see from a leader. I am really happy to see the way he is batting. I have always been a big fan of Rishabh Pant because of the way he plays his shots,” the former India all-rounder said.

He must be really happy with the way he went about his business and most importantly finishing the game when he started captaining. That’s what you want from your captain,” he concluded.

After a comfortable win over SRH, Rishabh Pant and Co. will take on Rajasthan Royals in their next match at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Saturday (September 25).