Gautam Gambhir steps down as Delhi’s Ranji captain

Vastavam web: Gautam Gambhir was Monday replaced by Nitish Rana as Delhi’s Ranji captain after the team’s seniormost player decided to make way for someone younger at the top position. “Time to pass the captaincy baton to youngsters, hence have requested the DDCA selectors not to consider me for that role. I will be in the background helping the new leader to win games,” Gambhir tweeted.

The 24-year-old Rana is a middle-order batsman, who has an average of 46.29 in 24 first-class appearances so far. The 26-year-old Shorey has 21 first-class matches to his credit and is a top-order batsman. “We would have loved to have Gautam leading the team. At the same time, I am happy that Gautam has decided to take a back seat and will groom the new captain,”Sharma added.

The Delhi squad, for the first match scheduled on November 12, at the Feroz Shah Kotla will be named later on Monday. Gambhir was reinstated as captain at the start of the season and led Delhi to the Vijay Hazare finals, scoring close to 500 runs in the National One-Dayers. It is learnt that Gambhir, who is now 37, decided against continuing at the helm as it is still not clear whether he will play all the four-day games this season. However, with no Shikhar Dhawan or Rishabh Pant, Gambhir’s experience will certainly be required.

Gambhir, though, had a slump in form during the IPL and his return to Delhi Daredevils’ fold ended in a nightmare. The senior opener stepped down from captaincy and also didn’t take part after the first six games of the cash-rich league.