Left-handed batter Nitish Rana has been named the captain of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for the upcoming IPL 2023. Rana, who has been with the team since 2018, is thrilled at the prospect of leading the side and showcasing his leadership skills.
Rana has previously led his domestic cricket team Delhi in 12 T20 matches of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, resulting in eight wins and four losses. He takes over as skipper in the absence of Shreyas Iyer, who is recovering from a back injury.
"It's an honour to lead KKR. This captaincy instils my belief of performing at the highest level," said Rana. "It's a great opportunity for me to showcase my leadership skills and I will be using all my experience to not just bring the best out of me but also from my team. I also wish for a speedy recovery for Shreyas and I am looking forward to the new challenge ahead of me."
Rana is a vital cog in the wheel of KKR's batting order and has scored 2181 runs in 91 matches of the IPL at an average of 28.32 and strike-rate of 134.22, including 15 fifties. He has also bowled handy off-spin and has one ODI as well as T20I appearance for India in 2021.
KKR, while announcing Rana as the captain for IPL 2023, said they are hopeful of Iyer recovering and participating in the tournament at some stage. Iyer had been doubtful to participate in IPL 2023 after suffering a recurrence of a lower back injury during the fourth Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test against Australia at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
KKR will play their first match of the tournament on April 1, against Shikhar Dhawan-led Punjab Kings at the PCA Stadium in Mohali. Kolkata will play their first home game at the Eden Gardens on April 6 against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. With Rana at the helm, KKR will be hoping for a successful campaign in IPL 2023.