Shreyas Iyer

2 Captaincy Options For KKR If Shreyas Iyer Misses IPL 2023

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KKR IPL 2023: The injury woes for Team India continue to be a big headache for the BCCI, the national team management and even the players’ IPL franchises as Shreyas Iyer is the latest member in this injury list.

Iyer was ruled out of the remainder of the Ahmedabad Test against Australia as he is down with severe and recurring back pain. Iyer, who had missed the first Test in Nagpur, returned to play in Delhi, Indore, and fielded for almost two days in Ahmedabad.

He complained of pain in his lower back following the third day’s play, the BCCI said, and later didn’t come out to bat in India’s first innings. His back pain has been a recurring problem, and because of this, he’d had to miss matches for India in the past.

Iyer is unlikely to feature in the 3-ODI series against Australia, from March 17 to March 22.

His injury is also a massive worry for his IPL franchise, Kolkata Knight Riders, as the IPL 2023 is set to kick-start on March 31.

KKR had bought Iyer for INR 12.25 crore in IPL 2022 auction and instated him as their new skipper after releasing Eoin Morgan. Under Iyer, KKR finished 7th in the 10-team IPL 2022 tournament.

Will Shreyas Iyer play in IPL 2023?

If the injury is serious, Iyer could miss a big portion of IPL 2023, or even the entire tournament.

In that case, Kolkata Knight Riders will be scratching to appoint a new captain.

Here are 2 options from their own squad whom KKR could name as captain for IPL 2023 is Iyer is not fit:

Nitish Rana

Nitish Rana
Nitish Rana. Image-BCCI

Left-handed batsman Nitish Rana is someone who Kolkata can see as a captaincy alternative if Shreyas is unavailable for part or whole of IPL 2023. Rana has been with KKR since 2018, the franchise having rebought him in the 2022 auction for 8 crores.

Nitish Rana has a vast experience of 91 IPL matches, having made his debut in the competition in 2016, playing his first two seasons for MI.

The 29-year-old Delhi-born Nitish Rana has led Delhi in some domestic matches and is a very respected player in the IPL and in domestic cricket.

Sunil Narine

Sunil Narine
Sunil Narine. Image-BCCI

Talking about being with KKR, nobody has spent more time in the KKR dressing room as a player than Sunil Narine, who played a significant role in both of their IPL title victories. Having made his IPL debut in 2012, Narine has played all his career for Kolkata, picking up 152 wickets and maintaining a terrific economy of 6.63, and in the past 6-7 years, the left-hander has also been used as a pinch-hitter with the bat, his strike rate of 162 vindicating that decision from the Kolkata Knight Riders management.

The Kolkata Knight Riders management and ownership do have captaincy faith in Sunil Narine: Narine recently led the Abu Dhabi Knight Riders in the ILT20 tournament in the UAE. And although the team finished at the bottom of the points table in the ILT20, it is clear that the KKR management sees leadership quality in the 34-year-old veteran all-rounder.

KKR full squad for IPL 2023:

Shreyas Iyer (c), Nitish Rana, 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 Weise, Kulwant Khejrolia, Mandeep Singh, Litton Das, Shakib Al Hasan.