Chandrakant Pandit, who is the head coach of the Kolkata Knight Riders, hopes that Shreyas Iyer can still play in the Indian Premier League this year. Iyer’s back injury has kept him out of the tournament for now, and it’s not clear if or when he’ll be able to play again. So, on Tuesday (March 28), KKR officially named Nitish Rana as their captain for the next season.
Pandit said, “In the little cricket I’ve played or coached, I’ve never gone back over things like not having a full squad.” “Shreyas’s absence will make a difference because he is important, but this is a real shame. We hope that Shreyas will be back soon, because that will help the team a lot.
“When we choose players and give them jobs, we find out who can do it. And Nitish can do it. He has been with KKR for a long time and has a good track record in India. All boxes have to be checked, as they say, and it has come to that. I’m happy to know that he can do the job. We can’t tell if someone deserves something or not. Every player has different skills, and after thinking about what Nitish brings to the table, we feel good about the decision.
Like Rana, Pandit will be taking a bigger step in his career. He has had a lot of success as a coach in his home country for many years. “There are challenges everywhere,” he said. “This is also one, but it’s a different kind of challenge. After playing cricket at home, it’s a different challenge to come here, where there are international-level players with different reputations who have played the game for a long time. I’ve already said that many of our players have played for their country and have a lot of experience. In the end, the game is the same, but the way it is played is different. As long as a team plays as a whole, it will matter.”
Rana has played down the stress of being captain by saying that he has always been a leader in the KKR locker room. “This is nothing new to me,” Rana said. “I have been in charge of this business for a few years now. This time, though, the tag is of a captain. And if I let extra pressure get to me over a tag, my game could be ruined. No real fear exists. Yes, there is more pressure when you try something new for the first time. But I’ve played almost 100 games, so I know I do well under pressure, and I’m looking forward to this new role.”
Even though the Indian players on the KKR team might not have as much experience without Iyer, Rana said that he will be able to count on the senior overseas players. “Management of people is important here,” he said. “This is a big tournament, so there are older players here. Russell has played almost 450 games, and Narine has played about the same number. This means that we have a very experienced group. Since I have so much experience, I have nothing to worry about. Chandrakant sir is here as well, so I have a lot of people I can talk to.”