Kolkata Knight Riders’s skipper Nitish Rana has been given the captaincy for the 2023 edition of the Deodhar Trophy which is slated to be played in Pondicherry this month. Mandeep Singh and Abhishek Sharma were the other possible candidates to take the captaincy reigns, but Rana was given the nod ahead of them.
Although KKR had a disappointing run under Nitish Rana, failing to qualify for the playoffs and finishing at the seventh place, the accountability and character shown by Rana was commendable. He led the team from the front and was the second highest run getter for them, just behind Rinku Singh. He scored 413 runs at a superb strike rate of 140.95 and average of 31.77.
Additionally, the 29-year-old has not played any professional cricket since the IPL and was not picked by his team for the Duleep Trophy. Performing well in a white ball domestic tournament could reward him with a comeback to the Indian team.
It is to be noted that the Deodhar Trophy comes back after a four-year hiatus. During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, it was put on hold indefinitely. The tournament will see a comeback and will be played from July 24 to August 3 in Puducherry. Six teams will compete in a round-robin format - North Zone, Central Zone, East Zone, North East Zone, South Zone, and West Zone. The final will take place on August 3 between the top two teams.
North Zone squad: Nitish Rana (Captain), Abhishek Sharma, Prabhsimran Singh, SG Rohilla, S Khajuria, Mandeep Singh, Himanshu Rana, Vivrant Sharma, Nishant Sindhu, Rishi Dhawan, Yudhvir Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Harshit Rana, Vaibhav Arora, Mayank Markande.
Stand-by players: Mayank Dagar, Mayank Yadav, Arslan Khan, Shubham Arora, Yuvraj Singh, Manan Vohra, Aqib Nabi, Shivank Vashisht.