IPL 2023: Nitish Rana to lead KKR in Iyer's absence
Star batter Nitish Rana will lead Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL) edition. The franchise, on Monday, announced that Rana has replaced regular skipper Shreyas Iyer, who will miss the tournament due to a back injury. Rana, who owns over 2,000 IPL runs, has been with the Kolkata-based franchise since 2018. Here are further details.
A look at the official statement
Iyer to miss IPL and WTC final
Earlier this month, it was reported that Iyer will miss the upcoming IPL season followed by the ICC World Test Championship final in June versus Australia. Iyer was recently ruled out of the ODI series against Australia after he complained of pain in his lower back during the final Test of the Border-Gavaskar series. Previously, he missed the ODI series against New Zealand.
A massive blow for KKR
Iyer's injury is a massive blow for the Knight Riders as they have their batting line-up revolving around him. Apart from his batting, he also brings in leadership skills, and that will depend upon Rana now. Iyer boasts decent IPL numbers, mustering 2,776 runs in 101 matches at an average of 31.55. He scored 401 runs for KKR last season.
Rana has led Delhi in domestic circuit
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.
KKR's squad for IPL 2023
A look at KKR's squad for IPL 2023: Shreyas Iyer (injured), Nitish Rana (captain), Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Venkatesh Iyer, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Shardul Thakur, Lockie Ferguson, Umesh Yadav, Tim Southee, Harshit Rana, Varun Chakravarthy, Anukul Roy, Rinku Singh, Narayan Jagadeesan, Vaibhav Arora, Suyash Sharma, David Wiese, Kulwant Khejroliya, Litton Das, Mandeep Singh, Shakib Al Hasan.
Most runs for KKR since 2018
Rana has racked up 1,744 runs for KKR to date. In the upcoming season, the left-handed batter can touch the 2,000-run mark for the franchise. Notably, no other batter has scored more runs for KKR since Rana's maiden appearance for the franchise in 2018.
KKR eye their third IPL title
KKR will fight for their third title in the impending IPL 2023, starting March 31. Having clinched the title twice (2012 and 2014), the Kolkata-based franchise does know the taste of success. KKR were the runners-up of the 2021 edition but finished seventh last year. They will face Punjab Kings (PBKS) in their maiden encounter this season (April 1).