Kolkata Knight Riders head coach Chandrakant Pandit is optimistic that Shreyas Iyer will feature at some point in this year’s Indian Premier League. The franchise officially named Nitish Rana as their skipper on March 28 for the upcoming season.
A dashing southpaw, Rana has been with the franchise since 2018 and has scored north of 300 runs in each of the five seasons. The 29-year-old has captaincy experience under his belt having led Delhi teams in the Indian domestic circuit. He has also represented India in two T20Is and an ODI with all three of his international caps being earned on the tour of Sri Lanka in July 2021, when India sent a second-string side to the island.
The two-time IPL champions were left to select a new skipper after their incumbent skipper, Iyer, suffered a flare-up of a back injury while knocking during the fourth Border-Gavaskar Test against Australia at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Rana has downplayed the weight of captaincy by stating that he has been a leader in the KKR dressing room for quite some time now. “For me this is not new,” Rana asserted. “I have been playing a leadership role in this franchise for a few years. It’s just that the tag is of a captain this time. And if I take extra pressure over a tag, then my game can potentially get ruined. There is no real fear. Yes, when you do something new for the first time, there is some added pressure. But I have played almost 100 games, and one thing I know is that I thrive under pressure and I am embracing this new role.”
First press conference as KKR Captain and Head-Coach: Say hi 👋 to skipper Nitish Rana and Chandrakant Pandit. 💜@NitishRana_27 #AmiKKR #TATAIPL2023 #NitishRana #Captain pic.twitter.com/U7aX0mAEq4
— KolkataKnightRiders (@KKRiders) March 28, 2023