Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will be without a captain for the most part of IPL 2023 if not the entire season as Shreyas Iyer has been ruled out of cricketing action. Iyer did not come out to bat in the fourth Test match of the Border Gavaskar Trophy and it was later confirmed that his back pain has come recurring back. The batter was then also ruled out of the three-match ODI series against Australia.
Now, reports have claimed that Iyer might even miss the IPL as well as the World Test Championship Final in June as he will undergo surgery. While WTC Final is still a long way, IPL 2023 is about to start in around ten days. Therefore, the KKR management is sweating hard to identify captain Iyer’s replacement. While they might get someone to bat in the middle order, Iyer’s leadership skills will be surely missed.
Although the management is hopeful about Iyer returning to action midway through the IPL, they need to identify an interim captain. And as per coming reports, Nitish Rana and Sunil Narine have been identified as the two potential options to lead KKR in Iyer’s absence. An ESPN Cricinfo report has claimed that one of these two will be leading the team until Iyer comes back.
“The Knight Riders management has started discussing options for the stand-in captain Iyer's absence. Sunil Narine and Nitish Rana are understood to be among the frontrunners but Knight Riders are deliberating hard on who could be a better choice as an overall package: man-manger, good communicator, leading team-mates and getting the best out of them under pressure in a match situation,” claimed the report.
Notably, both players have got prior captaincy experience. While Narine recently led Abu Dhabi Knight Riders in the International T20 League (ILT20), Rana has led Delhi in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (India’s domestic T20 tournament).