Kolkata Knight Riders appoint Nitish Rana as captain in Iyer’s absence

Nitish Rana - Kolkata Knight Riders - KKR

On March 27, Kolkata Knight Riders made an announcement regarding their captaincy for IPL 2023. Nitish Rana has been named as the captain due to regular skipper Shreyas Iyer’s absence because of a back issue. The franchise expressed optimism that Iyer “will recover and participate at some stage” in the tournament.

Sunil Narine was considered a leading candidate for captaincy along with Rana, but the management chose Rana. Rana has previously led his state team Delhi in white-ball cricket and has IPL experience with KKR since 2018.

Rana has played one ODI and two T20Is for India and has led Delhi to eight wins out of 12 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy fixtures. He has been a dependable middle-order batsman for KKR, scoring 1744 runs with an average of 27.68 and a strike rate of 135.61, including 11 half-centuries, from 2018 to 2022. He has scored more than 300 runs in six of his seven IPL seasons. In total, he has scored 2181 runs with a strike rate of 134.22 in 85 innings, including 15 half-centuries.

Kolkata will begin their campaign against Punjab on April 1st

“While we are hopeful that Shreyas will recover and participate at some stage in the IPL 2023 edition, we feel fortunate that Nitish, with the captaincy experience of 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 an statement.

Shreyas Iyer’s return to the IPL is uncertain. He is recovering from a back injury under the supervision of BCCI’s medical staff at the NCA in Bengaluru. He had to leave the Ahmedabad Test midway due to a recurrence of his back issue and missed the subsequent ODIs against Australia. Nitish Rana has been named as KKR’s captain in his absence. IPL 2023 begins on March 31, with KKR’s opening match against the Punjab Kings on April 1.

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