Nitish Rana has been named the captain of the Kolkata Knight Riders for IPL 2023. This is because their regular captain, Shreyas Iyer, is still getting better from a back problem that will keep him out of at least the first half of the tournament. The team posted about the news on March 27 and said that they hoped Iyer “will get better and take part in the tournament at some point.”
Rana and Sunil Narine were thought to be the top two candidates. Narine has been with the team since 2012 and led the KKR-owned Abu Dhabi Knight Riders at the first ILT20 in UAE this year. But the management has given the job to Rana because he has been captain of his state team in white-ball cricket and has been playing in the IPL with KKR since 2018.
Rana has played in one ODI and two T20Is for India. In the 12 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy games he has led his state team Delhi in, Delhi has won eight of them. He has been a reliable middle-order batter for the KKR. From 2018 to 2022, he scored 1744 runs with an average of 27.68 and a strike rate of 135.61. He also hit 11 half-centuries. The 29-year-old has been consistent because he has scored more than 300 runs in six of his seven IPL seasons. In 85 innings, he has scored 2181 runs at a rate of 134.22, and he has 15 half-centuries.
“We hope that Shreyas will get better and be able to play at some point in the IPL 2023 season. In the meantime, we feel lucky that Nitish, who has led his state team in white-ball cricket and has been with KKR since 2018 and has IPL experience, will do a great job,” KKR said in a statement.
“We are also sure that Nitish will get all the help he needs on and off the field from head coach Chandrakant Pandit and the support staff. On the field, Nitish will get all the help he needs from the team’s highly experienced leaders. We hope he does well in his new job and that Shreyas gets better quickly “it was read more.
As for Iyer, there is no set date for his return because he is still being treated at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru by doctors from the BCCI. Iyer had to leave the Border-Gavaskar Trophy’s fourth and final match, the Ahmedabad Test, in the middle of it because he hurt his back again. He couldn’t play in the next home ODIs against Australia because of the same problem that kept him out of the first Test in Nagpur and the home white-ball series against New Zealand before that.
IPL 2023 starts on March 31, and KKR’s first game is on April 1 against the Punjab Kings.
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