Xtra Time Web Desk: Kolkata Knight Riders head coach Chandrakant Pandit is hoping Shreyas Iyer will be available for the later stages in IPL 2023. The cricketer from Mumbai is troubled with a recurring back injury which has kept him out of action. As a result, KKR named Nitish Rana as their interim skipper until Shreyas is available.
“Shreyas’s absence will make a difference since he is important, but this is truly unfortunate. We are hoping Shreyas will be back very soon and that will make a lot of difference to the team,” Chandrakant Pandit said in the press conference a day ahead of the team’s departure to Chandigarh to face Punjab Kings in IPL 2023.
Speaking on Nitish Rana’s appointment as captain, Pandit said, “When we select players and give responsibility to players, we see who is capable. And Nitish is capable. He has been with KKR for a long time and has a strong domestic record. Like they say, ‘all boxes to be ticked’ and it has come down to that. I am comfortable knowing he can handle the role. We do not see whether someone is deserving or not. Every player has different skills, and after thinking about what Nitish brings to the table, we are confident with the decision.”
Meanwhile, Rana has downplayed the burden of captaincy by stating that he has been part of KKR leadership group even in the past.
“For me this is not new, 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,” Nitish said.