3 players who can replace Shreyas Iyer as KKR captain
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) are sweating over the fitness of their skipper Shreyas Iyer, with the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 being around the corner. The tournament will get underway on March 31, and Iyer, who is currently injured, isn't a sure starter. If he misses out on any games, KKR would require a backup skipper. Here are three candidates who can lead KKR.
Why does this story matter?
- Iyer has been struggling with back issues for the last two months.
- Owing to the same, he was ruled out midway through the recently-concluded fourth Test versus Australia.
- Reports suggest that the batter is struggling to walk and might have to undergo surgery.
- In this case, he will be out of action for three months. This is a massive blow for KKR.
A major concern for Kolkata Knight Riders
Iyer has been a prolific performer in the IPL, having mustered 2,776 runs in 101 matches at 31.55. Last season, which marked Iyer's KKR debut, he hammered 401 runs at 30.85. Notably, KKR bought Iyer for a whopping Rs. 12. 25 crore in the IPL 2022 mega-auction. The two-time champions finished seventh under him, winning six of their 14 games.
Shakib Al Hasan can handle the reins
Bangladesh's current T20I skipper Shakib Al Hasan can be viewed as KKR's backup skipper. Despite not getting regular chances, he has fared decently in the IPL. In 71 games, he has accumulated 793 runs at a strike rate of 124.49. The tally also includes 63 wickets at 29.19. He recently guided Bangladesh to a 3-0 triumph in the home T20I series versus England.
Nitish Rana can be an option
Nitish Rana has been a cornerstone of KKR's batting line-up since 2018. Overall in the IPL, he has accumulated 2,181 in 91 games at a strike rate of 134.22. The tally includes 15 half-centuries. He can also contribute with his part-time off-spin bowling. Notably, the southpaw isn't alien to the leadership role as he has led Delhi's state team in the domestic circuit.
Can Tim Southee take over?
New Zealand's current skipper and the highest wicket-taker in T20Is, Tim Southee is another potent option for the role. The pacer has fared decently at IPL, having scalped 45 wickets in 52 games (ER: 8.53). He was impressive last year, scalping 14 wickets in nine outings, conceding runs at 7.86. He has guided NZ to 13 wins in 22 T20Is (Tied: 3).
Going with Rana could be safe
As only four overseas players can feature in an XI, going with a foreign skipper can be risky. Moreover, neither Shakib nor Southee has been certain starters in IPL. Hence, if Iyer misses out, the KKR management could go with Rana, who has been associated with the team for the last five seasons. Last year, he accumulated 361 runs in 14 games (SR: 143.82).