Shreyas’s absence will make a difference since he is important, but this is truly unfortunate – Chandrakant Pandit
Kolkata Knight Riders head coach Chandrakant Pandit is hoping Shreyas Iyer will be able to participate in this year’s Indian Premier League while Iyer’s back injury has prevented him from competing in the tournament for now with little clarity over the possibility of him returning at some stage.
Kolkata Knight Riders head coach Chandrakant Pandit is hoping Shreyas Iyer will be able to participate in this year’s Indian Premier League.
Iyer’s back injury has prevented him from competing in the tournament for now with little clarity over the possibility of him returning at some stage. As a result, KKR officially announced Nitish Rana as their captain on Tuesday (March 28) for the upcoming season.
“Whatever little cricket I have played or coached, I have never gone back over things like squad unavailability,”Pandit said.
“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.
“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 also 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 don’t 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.”
Pandit, who has coached in the domestic circuit over the years with great success, will be moving forward in his career like Rana.
“Challenges are everywhere,”he noted.
“This is also one, but it is a challenge of a different kind. After domestic cricket, to come here where there are experienced international-level players with different reputations is a different challenge. I have already said that the players we have, many of them have been playing for their country and are experienced players. Ultimately, the game is not different, only the format is. As long as any team plays as a unit, it will make a difference.”
Meanwhile, Rana has downplayed the burden of captaincy by stating that he has been a leader in the KKR dressing room even in the past.
“For me, this is not new,”Rana said.
“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.”
Rana said that he will have the senior international players to rely on even though the Indian contingent in the KKR squad may lack a little bit of experience, especially without Iyer.
“Man-management is important here,”he pointed out.
“This is a big competition so there are players who are seniors here. (Andre) Russell has played almost 450 matches, (Sunil) Narine, too, is in that range, so we have a very experienced group. With that much experience, there is nothing for me to fear. Chandrakant sir too (is present), so there are a lot of people at my disposal to turn to.”