Nitish Rana to lead KKR in absence of injured Shreyas Iyer

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), the two-time Indian Premier League (IPL) champions, on Monday announced that left-handed batter Nitish Rana will lead the side in the upcoming 2023 season of the cash-rich league in the absence of Shreyas Iyer, who is recovering from a back injury.

Issuing a statement, KKR said that they are hopeful of Iyer recovering and participating in IPL 2023 at some stage.

Rana had previously led his domestic cricket team Delhi in 12 T20 matches of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, with the side having eight wins and four losses.

“We feel fortunate that Nitish, with the captaincy experience having led his state side in white ball cricket and the IPL experience he has had with KKR since 2018, will do a great job,” KKR said in the statement.

“We are also confident that under Head Coach Chandrakant Pandit and the support staff, he will get all the support needed off the field, and the highly experienced leaders in the squad will provide all support that Nitish may need on the field. We wish him the best in his new role and Shreyas a full and speedy recovery,” added the franchise.

Rana, 29, has been a vital cog in the wheel of KKR’s batting order since 2018 as the left-gander has amassed 450 runs from 14 innings at the Eden Gardens, averaging 34.62 at a decent strike-rate of 140.19.

Overall, Rana has scored 2181 runs in 91 matches of the IPL at an average of 28.32 and strike-rate of 134.22, including 15 fifties.

On the other side, Iyer had been doubtful to participate in upcoming season. He suffered a recurrence of lower back injury during the fourth Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test against Australia at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad recently.

He had also missed the home ODIs against New Zealand as well as the first Test against Australia due to the lower back injury.

KKR will play their first match of the upcoming season on April 1, against Shikhar Dhawan-led Punjab Kings at the PCA Stadium in Mohali. The Rana-led side will play their first home game at the Eden Gardens on April 6 against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

News Desk

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