Kolkata Knight Riders named experienced middle-order batter Nitish Rana as the stand-in captain for the IPL in the absence of injured Shreyas Iyer. Regular skipper Iyer is recovering from a back injury and the KKR management hopes he will be available to lead the side at some stage. Rana, who plays for Delhi, led his state side in 12 T20 games in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, winning eight. He played in two T20Is against Sri Lanka for a second-string India side led by Shikhar Dhawan in 2021. He has been with KKR side since 2018. Rana - who was preferred over established players like Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Shakib Al Hasan and Shar-dul Thakur in the Knights squad - looks to have completed a new-look think-tank with head coach Chandrakant Pandit and bowling coach Bharat Arun joining the franchise recently. KKR had a disappointing outing last season, finishing seventh. Rana, however, was moderately successful, scoring 361 runs in his 14 matches at an average of 27. 76 with a strike rate of 145. He has played in 74 matches for KKR so far.
Shreyas likely to miss IPL, WTC final
India batter Shreyas Iyer, who was ruled out of the ODI series between India and Australia due to a recurring lower back injury, is likely to be out of action for the next four or five months as he will undergo back surgery. Iyer could thus miss not just the upcoming edition of the IPL, where he leads the Kolkata Knight Riders, but also the World Test Championship final at the Oval in June. He could be in a race to return to action in time for the ODI World Cup in India in October-November. KKR has named Nitish Rana as the stand-in captain.“Iyer has been advised to go for surgery. He is keen to get operated by a specialist in London, but if there is a decent option in India, then the surgery could take place here also,” a source said.