Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting believes Ajinkya Rahane inclusion adds ‘ more depth’ to the squad but there will be a healthy competition for a place in the middle-order, this season.

Having finished third last season, the Capitals will kick-start their campaign against Kings XI Punjab on Sunday, September 20, and coach Ponting and skipper Shreyas Iyer believe that Rahane and Ashwin’s addition to a young squad will be key for them.

With Delhi relying on their explosive top-five — Dhawan, Shaw, Iyer, Pant and Hetmyer — Rahane might have to wait for his chance in the playing XI. DC also purchased the in-form Australian wicket-keeper, Alex Carey in the auction last season.

“We really have a balanced side. There is a lot of competition for middle-order slots. Rahane gives us more depth to our batting,” the Australian legend said on Saturday, during his team’s pre-season virtual media conference.

“Shikhar had as good a last season as anybody. Prithvi has been training very well. Shreyas has had his best 12 months for the Indian team. We have Pant, Hetmyer and Alex Carey (both left-handers), which gives us a good mix of left-right combination. We have our bases covered,” Ponting added, giving a small hint on Rahane’s future.

Skipper Shreyas Iyer said that Ashwin and Rahane have mixed well within the group and never gave a sense that they are veterans of the game.

Ponting also praised wicket-keeper batsman, Rishabh Pant, saying that he is expecting another excellent season swashbuckling left-hander.

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